Inquest hears boy, 4, was found ‘purple and unresponsive’ in Cork creche


A four-year-old boy was found ‘purple and unresponsive’ in a Cork creche before he died hours later.

Cillian O’Driscoll had seemed happy and healthy when he attended Kindercare pre-school in Ballincollig on December 14, 2018.

He told his mother that he loved her before she left for work and hugged his tutor when she met him at the pre-school.

But at approximately 2pm, staff at the pre-school noticed that little Cillian had ‘turned purple’ and was unresponsive. They administered CPR, called an ambulance and he was rushed to hospital.

But by 10.30pm that evening, his parents were holding him in hospital as his organs failed and his heart stopped beating.

Pathologist Dr Martaret Bolster told Cork Coroner’s Court that the child’s cause of death was cardiorespiratory arrest with patchy myocarditis and florid bilateral bronchopneumonia.

His parents, John Paul and Deirdre O’Driscoll sat in the packed courtroom as the verdict was given.

John Paul and Deirdre O
John Paul and Deirdre O’Driscoll. Picture: Cork Courts

Speaking in court, his mum, Deirdre said that Cillian loved cuddles and being with his mum, dad and baby brother, Darragh.

“He loved playing outdoors – Fountainstown beach was one of his favourite places. He loved cuddles and being with John Paul and his brother and I. He loved puzzles and jigsaw, he used to cuddle the pieces in bed. Those pieces are still in his bed.”

A photo was handed in to the court by the O’Driscoll’s barrister, Pearse Shreenan, “so that Cillian could be there with the family and with the court today”.

The inquest continues.

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