A Cork prisoner whose two-year-old boy died in a house fire on Sunday has been released to visit his critically ill partner and surviving son in hospital.

Ricky Punch was granted temporary parole on compassionate grounds after his son Cian died after a fire at their home.

Police are still investigating the cause of the blaze that killed Cian and left his mother Stacey Ellard and four-year-old brother Calvin fighting for their lives.

Ellard has yet to be informed of the death of her son after a fire broke out downstairs in the family home on the Elm Park estate in Wilton.

Punch, currently serving a four year custodial sentence in Cork Prison, is at Stacey’s bedside in Cork University Hospital.



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A hospital spokesman has confirmed that both Stacey and Calvin are critical but are showing signs of improvement.

Firefighters discovered Cian and Calvin in their mother’s bed when they arrived at the scene in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Fancy dress costumes for Halloween were laid out, ready for the two boys to go trick-or-treating on Monday night.

Investigators believe the blaze was a tragic accident and started downstairs.

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin, who represents the area, offered his sympathy to the Ellard and Punch families.

“I want to offer my deepest condolences to the family struck by this unspeakable tragedy. My prayers are with those being treated in hospital,” said Martin.

“This is an extremely difficult time for the family, friends and neighbours of those affected by this tragedy and my thoughts are with them at this time.”