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Sunday 8 December 2019

Gardai track known drug dealers in teen festival death probe

‘GAA-obsessed’ Jack Downey
‘GAA-obsessed’ Jack Downey

Gardai believe the substance taken by a teenager attending the Indiependence music festival, who later died, was sourced in south Tipperary.

Detectives are now focusing their investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of Jack Downey (19) on a number of known drug dealers in the south Tipperary area.

Gardai believe the substance, suspected to be ecstasy, also known as MDMA, was not sourced in north Cork where the popular music festival was being staged.

A garda source said the investigation "would leave no stone unturned" in trying to determine where the suspected substance originated.

Gardai have already spoken to dozens of people who were in contact with the teen in the 24 hours before his death.

A first-year Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) accountancy student, Mr Downey complained of feeling unwell at the Mitchelstown event at around 5pm on Friday, August 2, shortly after arriving on site. It is suspected he had just ingested some form of substance.

He was rushed to Cork University Hospital but was in a critical condition on arrival.

Mr Downey died three days later having failed to regain consciousness.

His heartbroken parents had maintained a vigil by his bedside.

A post-mortem examination was conducted last Tuesday but the full results will not be known until all toxicology tests are concluded.

Inquest

A Cork coroner's inquest will now be staged.

The young man, who sat his Leaving Cert last year, was the only child of John and Elaine Downey.

At his requiem mass in his native Clonmel, his parents urged the friends of their GAA-obsessed son to now "look after each other".

Mr Downey, a Tipperary-based garda said: "There is no blame. He will be missed - his friends are now to look after each other and not forget.

"I used to sit back and just admire him - he was a man with a presence. A cheeky little smile.

"He was a fabulous boy - and I am proud to call him my son."

Elaine Downey said: "Jack William Downey - you were the love of my life."

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