Wednesday 20 February 2019

Little Sienna (5) died of head injuries when gate collapsed

Sienna Joyce
Sienna Joyce

A five-year-old Dublin girl who was trapped under a gate while playing with friends died of head injuries, an inquest has heard.

Sienna Joyce, of The Ward, Ashbourne, Co Meath, died on June 27, 2016.

Gardai will submit a file in relation to the child's death to the Director of Public Prosecution within days, Dublin Coroner's Court heard.


Little Sienna, who was described by her cousin Kellie Joyce at her funeral as "beautiful, cherished and adored", was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital following the accident, where she was pronounced dead by Dr Roisin McNamara.

The little girl had been playing near her home at Wotton Bridge when the gate collapsed on her.

Her grandfather, David Joyce Snr, identified her body in hospital following the tragedy.

In his deposition, Mr Joyce said he identified his granddaughter to Sergeant Peter Hayde of Finglas Garda Station at 10pm that night.

Sgt Hayde said he remained at Temple Street Children's Hospital and spent some time with the family, including the child's father David Joyce, that night.

"He was clearly very distraught at the passing of his daughter," Sgt Hayde said.

A post-mortem examination conducted by pathologist Dr Deirdre Devaney gave the cause of death as severe head injuries.

Inspector Seamus D'Alton of Store Street Garda Station appeared on behalf of gardai in Ashbourne, seeking a six-month adjournment of the inquest.

"The investigation file is nearly completed and will be submitted in the coming days," Insp D'Alton said.

The inquest was adjourned for further mention on June 14.

Sienna, who had just finished her first year of school, was related to little Logan Joyce (4), who died tragically at the National Aquatic Centre in July 2012.

Logan, also from Ashbourne, had been found in the "lazy river" section after his father had lost sight of him on July 22 that year.


Speaking at tragic Sienna's funeral, in the Church of the Annunciation in Finglas, Fr Paddy Kelly told mourners that any death is sad, but that of a young child like Sienna is particularly so.

"Add to that the sudden and tragic way that it all happened and the thought almost becomes unbearable," he said.

"Sienna's death tore at our hearts," Fr Kelly added, addressing her parents Marie and David, brother Taigh and sister Sicily.

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