AN INQUEST into the death of an Irish four-year-old who was found unresponsive in a creche has returned a verdict that he died of natural causes.
Cillian O’Driscoll of Parkgate in Frankfield, Cork, went toad a two-and-a-half-hour nap at his creche in Ballincollig, Co Cork.
A viral infection in the boy's lungs reportedly attacked his heart while he slept on December 14, 2018.
He was found in a critical state at the Kinder Care creche and was rushed to Cork University Hospital.
He was put on life support when he arrived but was pronounced dead some time later.
The child, who had autism and was non-verbal, had been left asleep on cushions in a tree house in the pre-schooler room for more than two and a half hours.
Child and Family Agency, Tusla, in a subsequent review of the creche, expressed concern that a Safe Sleep Policy was not properly adhered to at the crèche.
It's understood that staff 'glanced' at Cillian just a small number of times as he slept, instead of checking on him every ten minutes as per the recommendations for young children.
Once they realised Cillian was unconscious, staff phoned the boy's father to alert him and ask him to come down.
His wife rang the crèche a number of times and the last time she called, a paramedic said Cillian was very ill and they were taking him to Cork University Hospital.
Mr O'Driscoll said they could tell how grave his condition was by the looks on the faces of staff.
"Our little boy was no longer there - his body was listless, as were his eyes", Mr O'Driscoll said.
In a statement Cillian’s parents said that hoped lessons would be learned from the tragedy.
Specifically they felt that Cillian should have been properly checked during his long nap.