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James Casey Butler from the Tir Cluain estate in Midleton Co. Cork drowned in Owenacurra river at around 6.45pm on Saturday evening. Photo by: Handout

Health Minister seeks report after boy dies after falling into flood waters in County Cork

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James Casey Butler from the Tir Cluain estate in Midleton Co. Cork drowned in Owenacurra river at around 6.45pm on Saturday evening. Photo by: Handout

The Irish health minister has called for a report into the circumstances that lead to the death of a seven-year-old boy, who died after falling into a flooded river.

James Casey Butler from the Tir Cluain estate in Midleton Co. Cork died at our Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin on Sunday evening, after being transferred there from Cork following his rescue from the Owenacurra river at around 6.45pm on Saturday evening.

Dr James Reilly said a report on the emergency will be compiled by Cork University Hospital (CUH), reports the Irish Times.

“While I await a full report, the first thing I want to do is empathise with the family on their terrible tragic loss. The last thing any parent wants to do is to be at their child’s funeral,” he said.

The young boy had been playing with some friends on a green area in the estate when he gained access to the riverbank through a gap in fencing and fell into the flooded river and was swept downstream.

Roy Daly, visiting his brother-in-law in the estate, and local man Damien Guard jumped into the river to rescue James, before giving him CPR on the bank.

In a statement on Monday the Health Service Executive said an emergency call was received at 6.40pm, and the nearest available emergency ambulance was dispatched and arrived at the scene at 6.59pm.

There had been concerns expressed in the past over the access to the river bank from the housing estate.

Local mother, Carolyn Dennehy told the Irish Times: “I guarantee you if you ask any parent in the estate, they will all say the river is their biggest worry here; something needs to be done to close it off for children”.

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