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devestating loss Tragic Limerick boy Mason O'Connell (4) died from 'traumatic head injury' inquest told

The circumstances of fatal injuries suffered by the boy at a house in Rathbane, Limerick on March 13, 2021 are still the subject of a Garda inquiry.


Mason O'Connell

Mason O'Connell

Mason O'Connell

An investigation into the death of a four-year-old boy at a house in Limerick three months ago is ongoing, according to gardaí.

An inquest into the death of Mason O’Connell which opened at Dublin Coroner’s Court on Friday heard that the circumstances of fatal injuries suffered by the boy at a house in Rathbane, Limerick on March 13, 2021 are still the subject of a Garda inquiry.

Mason had sustained his injuries after an apparent fall from a bunk-bed while staying at the home of his father, John Paul O’Connell, at Sycamore Avenue in Rathbane.

He died three days later at Children’s Hospital Ireland, Temple Street, having been earlier treated at University Hospital Limerick and Cork University Hospital.

The inquest heard evidence that Mason’s mother, Elizabeth Conway, had formally identified her son’s body to gardaí in a room at the intensive care unit of Temple Street Hospital where he had been receiving treatment.


Little Mason O’Connell

Little Mason O’Connell

Little Mason O’Connell

Garda Ben Gallagher of Mountjoy Garda station said he had met relatives of Mason’s family including his parents and grandparents when he attended the hospital for the formal identification of the boy’s body.

The inquest heard a post mortem carried out by pathologist, Dr Heidi Okkers, had established the cause of death as “a traumatic head injury”.

Inspector Larry Brady of Store Street Garda station applied for an adjournment of the inquest on the basis that the preparation of a file for the DPP was under consideration by gardaí.

The coroner, Dr Myra Cullinane, granted the application under Section 25.1 of the Coroner’s Act which allows for adjournments where criminal proceedings are being considered.

She also acceded to a request for a copy of the post mortem to be made available to gardaí.

Dr Cullinane offered her condolences to the Mason’s family and adjourned the inquest until December 14.

None of the boy’s family were present at the inquest as the coroner pointed out that a Garda liaison officer had notified them that their attendance was not required because the case was likely to be adjourned.

The sitting of Dublin Coroner’s Court also granted adjournments in a number of inquests into the death of individuals in violent circumstances.

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Inspector Brady said a Garda investigation was still ongoing into the death of Patrick “Paddy” Lyons (42) who was shot dead near his home on the Belclare estate in Ballymun, Dublin on February 11 last.

The court heard an autopsy had confirmed the father of two had died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Adjournments were also granted in relation to a number of cases involving deaths where people have already been brought before the courts on related charges.

They include Jennifer Poole, a 24-year-old mother of two who was fatally stabbed at her home on Melville Drive, Finglas on April 17 last.

Another case opened and adjourned was the inquest into the violent death of pensioner Kwok Ping Cheng,(75) at his flat off Cork Street in the Liberties area of Dublin on April 29 last.

The court heard a post mortem found he had died from “blunt and sharp force trauma”.

The coroner also adjourned an inquest into the death of Urantsetseg Tserendorj (48), a native of Mongolia, who died in the Mater Hospital on February 3 this year after she had been assaulted near the CHQ building on Custom House Quay in Dublin while returning home late at night from work on January 20 last

A post mortem concluded she had died as a result of brain damage arising from a stab wound to her neck.

A 15-year-old boy has already been charged with assault causing harm, attempted robbery and unlawful possession of a knife in relation to the incident.

However, Insp Brady said further directions in relation to the case were being sought from the DPP.

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