herald

Thursday 19 October 2017

'Everyone is shell-shocked' as town grieves for baby Chloe

Seven-month-old Chloe was Louise and Paul Fogarty’s first child
Seven-month-old Chloe was Louise and Paul Fogarty’s first child

Temperatures could have hit 27C inside a parked car where a seven-month-old baby girl was sleeping on the hottest day of the year, gardai fear.

Tragic Chloe Fogarty is believed to have been in the vehicle for up to five hours before she was discovered by her horrified father shortly before 1pm on Thursday.

Yesterday, residents of mum Louise's home town, Tipperary, were rallying behind the devastated family.

Chloe's dad, Paul Fogarty, who works at O'Dwyer Steel in the town, is understood to have been distracted by a phone call and didn't realise his daughter - the couple's only child - was still in the vehicle.

She had been due to be dropped at a creche at 8.30am.

The car park scene of the tragedy
The car park scene of the tragedy

Chloe's mother had returned to her job from maternity leave and a few days ago the couple set up the childcare to cover their time at work.

Struggle

Chloe died at 5pm, shortly after being transferred by air ambulance from Dundrum, Co Tipperary, to the University Hospital Limerick (UHL).Doctors had tried desperately to save her.

Kilfeacle parish priest, Fr Pat Coffey, said the community had been "left reeling" by the tragedy.

"It is just a case of being shell-shocked," he said.

"Everybody is feeling for the family."

The Fogartys and Louise's family the McInerneys yesterday appealed for privacy as they struggle to come to terms with their grief.

One of their neighbours described the death as "a total nightmare".

More than 40 colleagues from O'Dwyer Steel laid flowers, a candle and a panda teddy in the works car park, only yards from where Chloe was discovered motionless.

For 15 minutes they prayed and fought back tears in memory of their colleague's little girl.

In one moving tribute, a bouquet bore the simple message: "Our thoughts are with you from staff at O'Dwyer Steel."

The impromptu service took place in the early afternoon at almost exactly the time Chloe was found on Thursday.

Louise and Paul, from Golden-Kilfeacle, Co Tipperary, were married two years ago, before baby Chloe arrived in October last year.

They rented a place in Tipperary town and had been planning to build their dream family home near Cashel.

Paul is a keen sportsman, representing Golden-Kilfeacle GAA Club.

Club members were yesterday helping to comfort the family and offering their support as relatives made funeral arrangements.

However, the club declined to comment on the tragedy.

Both Mr Fogarty's parents, Joe and Mae, are known in sporting circles around Tipperary, as they are involved in the GAA and horse racing scenes.

Gardai are investigating the incident, which is being treated by Tipperary officers as "a terrible tragedy".

They stressed that their inquiry will be handled in a "very sensitive" manner.

Theory

A file will be prepared for the coroner's office.

Meanwhile, a full post-mortem examination is to be conducted at UHL by State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy.

The main theory being examined is that Chloe could have died from heatstroke.

She will rest in repose at her family home in Tipperary town from 5pm to 7pm tomorrow.

Chloe's Mass of the Angels takes place on Monday at 11.30am in the Church of St Nicholas at Solohead.

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