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Dublin: 9°C Friday 26 February 2021

'Every parent's worst nightmare': Tributes paid to teen who died after falling ill at music festival

19-year-old Jack Downey is believed to have taken a substance at the Indiependence music festival in Cork.

Jack Downey died at Cork University Hospital yesterday.
Jack Downey died at Cork University Hospital yesterday.
Image: Clonmel Og Hurling and Football Club via Facebook

TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to a teenager who died after allegedly taking a substance at a music festival in Cork.

19-year-old Jack Downey fell ill at the Indiependence festival on Friday and was taken to Cork University Hospital. 

The festival promoters over the weekend issued a “welfare warning” advising attendees not to take any substance they were not sure about. 

The teenager, who is from Tipperary, had been placed on life support on Sunday and died yesterday afternoon. 

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, local priest Fr Michael Twomey said “this is every parent’s worst nightmare”.

He said Jack’s parents have been telling his friends to “look after one another” and not to let any of their parents go through a similar tragedy.

Fr Twomey said the teen’s death was a “sad and realistic wake-up call” that there is a “massive problem” with drugs in Ireland. 

He said he will be meeting today with some of Jack’s friends to offer them support.

“For many of them this is the first time they’ve had to deal with a death.”

Jack Downey was a member of the Clonmel Og hurling and football club, which is offering counselling to young people in the area who knew him. 

“Our worst fears were realised this afternoon with the news that Jack Downey passed away in the company of his parents,” the club said yesterday ahead of a mass for the teen.

We are devastated and will have more to say in time.

In tributes on the club’s Facebook page, Jack was described as “an absolute gentleman”, a “lovely young boy”, and “a beautiful soul”.

“At a time like this we need to be strong and there for each other,” the club said. 

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