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A garda at the scene in Clashmore. Niall Carson/PA

Post-mortem completed on baby girl from Waterford as gardaí confirm dog has been put down

Gardaí are preparing an investigation file for an inquest by the County Coroner.

LAST UPDATE | 8 Jun 2021

A POST-MORTEM has been completed on the body of a baby girl who died when she was attacked by a dog in her home.

The three-month-old, named locally as Mia O’Connell, was fatally injured by the dog in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The post-mortem was administered by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.

The results of the post-mortem will not be released for “operational reasons”, gardaí said in a statement.

“The animal which was involved in the incident has now been destroyed,” gardaí said.

“As a result of the post-mortem, An Garda Síochána’s focus is on the preparation of an investigation file for an inquest by the County Coroner.”

The incident occurred at the baby’s home in Clashmore, Co Waterford – a short distance from the east Cork town of Youghal.

The baby was brought to Cork University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

It is understood that the parents of Mia had moved into the area and were originally from County Cork.

Sources have said that the infant was attacked by the dog in her bedroom – the dog was owned by the family.

“The baby suffered devastating head injuries in the attack. It is believed the dog came into the room sometime after midnight and carried out the attack,” a source said.

It is understood the breed is a cross between a terrier and a labrador – sources said earlier that gardaí were likely to seek the destruction of the dog following the post-mortem.

Local representatives said the area was in deep shock with the community offering their support to the grieving family.

Damien Geoghegan, Mayor of Waterford County Council, said that people were bonded together in grief as news filtered through of the tragedy. 

“Just everyone is in deep shock. It is an appalling thing that happened. People woke up to this yesterday morning and were hearing that a three-month-old baby lost her life in such terrible circumstances in their community.

“It is devastating for Clashmore and the greater west Waterford region and also Youghal in east Cork.

“My sympathies and my thoughts and prayers are with the family. Clashmore is a good rural area and at times like this you see the best in rural Ireland. People are rallying around and supporting the family,” he said.

Councillor Seamus O’Donnell said that he had been speaking to a local man whose wife had met the family walking in the area recently.

“I spoke to a local man and his wife had met them out on the road and they were walking with the baby and the dog was there too just a few days ago.

“That woman is deeply distressed today having heard the awful news. 

“It’s just very sad what happened. I just send my sympathies to them – it’s not something that happens too often but it is a horrific tragedy,” he said. 

Councillor Tom Cronin said that the unusual nature of the attack has made the tragedy more shocking for the local community.

“It’s a rural quiet village and people will come together. People I spoke to are in deep shock with what has happened. All our sympathy goes to that family their friends and neighbours.

“It has the whole place very distressed. Clashmore people will unite together and do all they can for this family,” he said.