Village mourns the death of baby Mia by a dog


The tiny village of Clashmore in County Waterford held a day of cancer fundraising on Saturday, featuring vintage cars and tractor races, only to be shrouded in grief 24 hours later after a little girl of three month was attacked and killed by a dog.

Mia O’Connell was born in late February to parents Rhys O’Connell and Ella Wood. The young couple got engaged on New Year’s Eve last year.

The three-month-old girl was in a bed in the townhouse when the dog came upstairs at around 2 a.m. and attacked her.

Emergency services treated Mia’s injuries at the scene before she was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The house has been cordoned off for a forensic examination by Garda’s technical office and an autopsy will be performed on Tuesday

A file will be sent to the Court of Coroners and an inquest will be held in due course.

The incident is being investigated by gardaí in Dungarvan, who calls on anyone with information to contact them.

The mother of the child, Ella Wood, is in her twenties and moved to the area relatively recently.

Father Rhys O’Connell is 32 years old and from the nearby town of Youghal.

Pat Flavin, a resident of Clashmore, said the family would be on everyone’s thoughts and prayers in the area.

“You hear that kind of thing on TV but you don’t expect it to happen here.

“There are around 1,800 people in this area. It’s a small place. Everyone will support them and do what they can for them,” he said.

The baby girls were pronounced dead at Cork University Hospital. Image: Niall Carson / PA Wire

“Lots of tragedies”

Mr Flavin said it had been a tragic time for the entire community with five young teenagers injured in an accident on the R633 Bog road about 2 miles west of Youghal Strand last December.

“We’ve had a lot of tragedies. Now this. There was also a murder at the Decies Bar (in the village) many years ago.”

Elsewhere, a young mother whose children were playing in the playground near Raheen Quay Walk in Clashmore shook her head sadly when asked about the tragedy.

“I wouldn’t know what to tell you.

“I heard it early in the day and couldn’t even speak for a while because I have young children myself and you know we always worry about our young children and the things that might. happen, ”she said.

Village to rally

A woman who has lived in Clashmore for a few years said she did not know the family personally but was convinced the village would rally around her.

“There will undoubtedly be a guard of honor (for funerals). We have done this for everyone and there have been a few deaths during Covid.

“It was done for a woman who died of breast cancer and for an older man. People will do what they can,” she said.

One woman, who would only be identified as a “mother of five,” said the parish was numb with the news.

“I went out for my walk and it’s on my mind. I don’t know them but I’ll say a prayer for them.”

Shocked residents

Waterford independent adviser Seamus O’Donnell said he spoke to residents of Clashmore who are understandably shocked by what happened.

“It’s a very unusual thing that is happening. The family is new to Clashmore.

“A woman I spoke to said she only spoke to the grandmother when she went out for a walk the baby yesterday. They were only talking about the kindness of the baby.

“It’s the last thing you expect to wake up on a public holiday morning. We had such a lovely day in the village of Clashmore yesterday.

“We had a cancer appeal and the GAA club was involved in it and we had vintage cars and a tractor race. People were walking. It was a return to a bit of normalcy.

“The family is not well known as it is a tenant and new to the area.

“We had a beautiful mass yesterday morning. We had no idea that a tragedy would happen within 24 hours.

“It’s a lovely village. The houses (where the tragedy happened) are about 15 years old.

! Three or four of them have been sold and the rest are rented.

Prayers will be offered during Masses in the coming days.

Father Milo Guiry of Ardmore, whose parish encompasses the village of Clashmore, said what happened was a “terrible tragedy”.

“We will keep the family in our prayers. All support will be offered to them. This is terrible, terrible news.

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