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Cork University Hospital


Tributes have been pouring in for Marie Downey and her newborn son Darragh who both tragically passed away at Cork University Hospital this week.

The harrowing deaths of the new mum and her baby boy have stunned the public. The family of Marie are now experiencing the heaviest heartache at what was meant to be a joyous time for them.

Marie leaves behind her beloved husband Kieran and her darling boys and baby Darragh’s big brothers James and Sean, as well as her parents, extended family and friends.

Parish Priest Fr. Eamon Kelleher has led the tributes since the untimely passing of both Marie and Darragh.

Zara King reported that he said that this tragedy is felt by the whole parish of Kildorrery. “I want to acknowledge that the whole community is gathered in prayer. Kieran and the boys are surrounded in Knockanevin with great affection and spiritual empathy.”

Douglas Camogie Club also paid tribute to Marie who played for the club for many years.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the tragic passing of our former player Marie Downey and her baby Darragh. Our thoughts and sympathies are with their family and friends at this deeply distressing time.”

One friend told the Irish Independent: “It's unbelievable, she was a gorgeous girl. She had a heart of gold, she was very caring."

Marie and her baby boy will be laid to rest on Saturday, March 30. Our thoughts are with their family and friends during this tragic time.


Following a post-mortem examination at Cork University Hospital, a number of packages have been recovered from the stomach of a young man who died on board an Aer Lingus plane.

The 24-year-old Brazilian national, whom independent.ie has named as John Santos Gurjao, fell ill on Lisbon-Dublin flight EI 485.

He reportedly became “extremely violent” – even biting a fellow passenger who attempted to restrain him – before falling unconscious and dying.

The packages have now been sent for forensic analysis. RTÉ News reports that at least one of them was ruptured. They are believed to have contained cocaine totaling around 800g in weight and worth €55,000 on the street.

A Garda spokesman confirmed late last night: “The post-mortem has taken place. A number of packages have been recovered and have been forwarded for forensic examination. The toxicology results are awaited.”

The flight was diverted to Cork with the pilots citing a “medical emergency,” and requesting permission to make an unscheduled landing.

This morning, gardaí continue to question a 44-year old Portuguese woman who was also on the same flight. It is believed that 2kg of a powdered substance has already been recovered from her luggage.

RTÉ says she has been living in Dublin for several years and is involved in a number of businesses, including offering herself as a consultant to non-EU residents seeking visas to work and study in Ireland.

The post mortem was conducted by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster, who has now also ordered further toxicology tests.

In an astonishingly account, John Leonard, who was also on the same plane, has yesterday told Cork's 96fm that the Brazilian man was "on the ground shaking violently" prior to his death.

He went on to explain: "The noise he was making was like something I have never heard before. 

"It's not something you'd hear everyday. It was like deep anguish is the best way I could describe it, very, very troubled.

"Not screaming in a sense, you know if you'd hurt yourself or something, just very guttural, from deep within him."

Mr Leonard furthermore said that it was a "very violent end". He stated: "To die that way in the back of an aeroplane, it's not right. It was not very pleasant at all."


Late last month teenager Ciara O’Brien was on a night out with friends at the newly-opened The Moorings night club in Kinsale.

She has since been left paralysed and her family have said “her spirits were broken by the way she was treated by the health system.”

An accident at the venue saw Ciara fall two-and-a-half metres from a three storey building. She was taken to Cork University Hospital but was subsequently airlifted to the Mater in Dublin in order to receive specialist care for spinal injuries.

The 18-year old had just sat her Leaving Cert at Kinsale Community School and her family and friends were “devastated and shocked” by what had happened.

She suffered several spinal injuries after the fall and is now in a wheelchair. Her aunt, Maria O'Mahony, has said that the facilities in Cork were not equipped to for dealing with Ciara’s needs. When she first arrived in CUH after receiving treatment in Dublin since the accident, she was unable to get from her bed in her shared room to the bathroom facilities.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, Maria said Ciara had been doing very well while recovering at the Mater but upon moving back to CUH things had gone to well.

“It’s like she’s been forced to start her recovery all over again,” she explained.

A spokesperson for CUH told the Independent that when Ciara arrived the hospital was “exceptionally busy with approximately 80 emergency admissions daily.”

She has since been given a private room and the wheelchair which she now requires and is said to be “over joyed” with these improvements in her care.

The Irish Sun spoke with Kinsale Cllr Kevin Murphy at the times who said: “You don’t expect such a dreadful thing to happen when a young girl is out socialising.”

The 'freak accident' occurred only one month after the club had been reopened following renovations. Business continued as usual after Ciara's fall with Declan Ryan of The Moorings telling the Sunday World

“It was just an accident. She fell about 8 foot [2.5metres] from the side of the building. It wasn’t in the club it was beside it.”