TRAGIC TODDLER DIED JUST DAYS AFTER SHE LEARNED HOW TO WALK

March 24, 2011

A Letterkenny toddler who had just learned to walk died after she was struck by a car at her home.

Little Lisa Gallagher, 1, died at her home in Drumardagh on July 23rd last year after she was struck by the car being driven by her dad Adrian.

Heartbroken Mr Gallagher told Letterkenny Coroner’s Court how he had arrived home from work at 5.45pm and parked at the front of his home as there were visitors there.

He had tea and then later, at around 7.20pm, decided to reverse his car around to the back of the house where he usually parked it.

He thought he hit a kerb and then noticed his wife Carmel coming out of the back door calling to him if he had seen their baby daughter Lisa.

He then noticed the child was caught under the front driver’s door of the car.

He immediately tried to lift the wheel arch of the car and his sister Edel took little Lisa from beneath the car. 

The family rushed to contact a neighbour Ms Mary Lenihan, who has been a nurse for 36 years.

Ms Lenihan told the court that she tried CPR on the baby but could not find a heartbeat and she eventually whispered an Act of Contrition into the toddler’s ear.

She gave evidence that she also noticed blood on the mouth of the child’s father Adrian after he too had tried CPR on the infant.

An ambulance arrived and rushed the toddler to Letterkenny General Hospital but the child was pronounced dead a short time later.  

Pathologist Dr.Gerry O’Rourke revealed how Lisa had a number of fractures to her skull but no other fractures to her body.

He said her death was due to a severe head injury consistent with injuries sustained from contact with a vehicle.

The child’s mother, Mrs Carmel Gallagher told the court that her daughter was perfectly healthy and had only started to walk a couple of weeks before and was in and out of the house with other children on the day of the accident.

Coroner John Cannon instructed the jury to find a verdict in accordance with the Pathologist’s medical findings which they did.

And he added “I always find the inquest to the death of an infant very trying. I know it is difficult and that difficulty must be immensely trying. I am very sorry about this sad event,” he said.

Garda Sgt Niall Davey said words are meaningless for the family and offered his condolences and prayers to them.

Ends

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