Boy (2) who died in west Cork after choking on fruit is named locally

People in Skibbereen pledge to support family of Joshua Odonker following tragedy

People in Skibbereen in Co Cork have vowed to support the family of a two-year-old boy who died after a piece of fruit became lodged in his windpipe on Wednesday evening.

Gardaí have indicated the emergency services went to a housing estate in the town shortly after 9pm on Wednesday following the unexpected death of the toddler in a choking incident. The dead child has been named locally as Joshua Odonker.

The coroner for west Cork was notified and arrangements were made for a postmortem at Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Gardaí have confirmed the incident is being treated as a “tragic accident”, and foul play is not suspected. “Owing to the tragic nature of the incident no further information is available.”


It is understood the child, whose parents are from Ghana, was eating a grape when it became lodged in his windpipe. Despite the best efforts of paramedics the toddler was pronounced dead at the scene. An inquest is expected to be held later this year.

Independent Cllr Karen Coakley said there was a sense of “numbness” locally following the tragedy. “I heard it yesterday morning and nobody seemed to know who it was. Sometimes when you don’t know who it is, it is almost as if it hasn’t happened.

“Where it happened is near where I am living. Supposedly the family moved to town over the last couple of months. They are originally from Ghana,” Cllr Coakley said.

“It is almost sadder because if they just moved to town they don’t really have a network of support just yet or family support. Supporting them is all you can do.

“People are just so numb because it is such a cute age when a child is between two and three. It is just so tragic. A simple, simple little accident. It is just heartbreaking,” she said.

Cllr Coakley says the community plans to do everything in its power to assist the bereaved family. “You don’t have to be a parent to feel this. It is just heartbreaking. It is just so traumatic. We will do whatever we can.”

It is the second tragedy involving a child in the town over the last year. In January last year a toddler died after was struck by a car in the driveway of a house in the Tralispean area of the west Cork town.

The 18-month-old boy was taken to CUH where he was pronounced dead.