Parents’ agony as ‘bubbly’ son, 4, dies after taking a nap in ‘tree house’ at creche

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A LITTLE boy died after taking a nap in an indoor tree house at creche, an inquest heard.

Autistic Cillian O’Driscoll, four, was discovered unconscious in the play room.

Cillian O’Driscoll, four, was discovered unconscious in the play room
Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

His devastated dad said the “bubbly” boy – who was largely non-verbal – had said “All the Best” and waved goodbye for the final time that morning.

Cillian was killed by a viral infection that attacked his lungs, an inquest at Cork Coroners’ Court heard.

A review raised concerns that a Safe Sleep Policy was not followed at Kinder Care creche in Ballincollig, Co Cork, on December 14, 2018.

‘OUR PAIN WILL BE WITH US FOREVER’

While care staff said he was checked every ten minutes while he was asleep, a special Sleep Rest Chart had not been filled out that day.

Cillian was asleep for almost two and a half hours and said a vigorous check on him during his unusually long sleep might have spotted indications of the advancing viral infection.

They said: “While nothing can bring Cillian back, and our pain will be with us forever, we do hope that lessons can be learnt from today.”

He had a special needs assistant – but she had left two hours earlier.


The crèche had passed a full Tusla inspection in May 2018, just seven months before Cillian’s death.

However, Tusla highlighted the absence of a sleep monitoring policy for older children in the creche.

City Coroner Philip Comyn recorded a verdict of death from natural causes.

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