Gardaí to prepare inquest file after infant girl attacked by family pet dog

Three-month-old Mia O’Connell died after dog gained entry to house, attacked her

Gardaí investigating the death of a three-month-old baby girl, who died after being attacked by a family pet, are to prepare a file for an inquest at the coroner’s court following the completion of a postmortem examination.

Gardaí have not released the results of a postmortem by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster at Cork University Hospital (CUH) on Tuesday afternoon into the death of Mia O'Connell for operational reasons.

But Dr Bolster's report will form a central part of their file for Cork City Coroner Philip Comyn, along with witness statements which gardaí are expected to take from the family in the coming weeks and months.

Mia was pronounced dead at CUH at 3.15am on Monday morning after being rushed there from her home at Clashmore in west Waterford,where she had been attacked by a dog owned by the family.


The Irish Times understands that Mia was asleep in an upstairs bed when the dog, a cross between a Labrador and a Jack Russell, gained entry to the house and ran upstairs and attacked the sleeping infant and pulled her to the floor.

The child's mother, Ella Wood, who is in her 20s, and her aunt, Emily Wood were in the house at the time with her partner's Rhys O'Connell's mother, Noreen and her partner, Barry Dillon and they ran upstairs to discover the child seriously injured.

They rang the emergency services and gardaí were quickly on the scene and performed CPR on the infant before paramedics arrived and took over efforts to resuscitate the child before she was rushed by ambulance to CUH.

Gardaí began an investigation and immediately cordoned off the scene and Garda technical experts travelled from Dublin to carry out a forensic examination of the scene throughout Monday morning and afternoon.

Gardaí are expected to take witness statements from the four adults who were in the house at the time of the attack and the child’s father, Rhys O’Connell (32) who was not at home at the time, at a later date for their file for the coroner.

Meanwhile the Garda Press Office confirmed in a statement on Tuesday afternoon that the dog, which had been involved in the fatal attack on baby Mia, has since been euthanised by a local vet.

"An Garda Síochána has appointed a family liaison officer to the family and An Garda Síochána continues to support the family at this tragic time," said gardaí before re-iterating their appeal for privacy for the grieving family.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times