Limerick inquest hears four-year-old girl died after fireplace fell on her in ‘tragic accident’

Fintan Walsh


Fintan Walsh


Inquest in Limerick hears four-year-old girl died after fireplace fell on her

The inquest took place at the coroner's court at the HSE buildings on Catherine Street

A FOUR-year-old girl died from serious head injuries after a fireplace fell on her at a house, the coroner’s court in Limerick heard this Wednesday morning.

The inquest into the death of the girl heard that the tragic accident occurred in a County Tipperary town on the afternoon of October 21, 2017.

Insp Dermot O’Connor read depositions by a number of witnesses, including the girl’s foster parents, two ambulance staff and gardai.

In the foster mother’s evidence, she said she rang the ambulance at 4.28pm, who arrived at the scene within 17 minutes.

Paramedic Seamus Pyke told the inquest that they received a call to a head injury and that a “fireplace had fallen on a child”. Upon arrival, paramedics saw the child lying on the floor and that she had suffered blood loss and head trauma.

At 6.10pm, the girl was taken to University Hospital Limerick, where she was later pronounced dead.

Stuart Fraser, advanced paramedic, said the child was in cardiac arrest. He said the fireplace was on the floor and the child was “lying in the frame”.

He said they were “working on her for 25 minutes” before a second ambulance crew arrived at the scene.

The foster father identified the body of the child to Roxboro Road gardai at 7.48pm.

Dr Gabor Laskai said post-mortem findings showed that the girl suffered an intracerebral hemorrhage as a result of the incident.  

Coroner John McNamara, who described it is a “tragic accident”, recorded verdict of accidental death caused by traumatic skull and bone fractures.

“It’s sad that such a young life is taken in such tragic circumstances,” Mr McNamara said to around 10 family members who were present at the coroner’s court on Catherine Street.

After the inquest was concluded, the coroner and gardai expressed their condolences to the family.