A young mother and her infant son were in ‘good spirits’ just hours before they were found dead in tragic circumstances.
Paediatric nurse Nicola Keane’s body was found in the Lucan area of Dublin yesterday – and the body of her seven-month-old son was discovered afterwards at their family home.
An investigation is under way but last night gardaí said they are treating both deaths as a ‘family tragedy’ and are not seeking anyone else in connection with the incident.
Paediatric nurse Nicola Keane’s body was found underneath a bridge in Dublin on Tuesday morning. Her devastated partner was awoken by police and only discovered about both their deaths after officers arrived, reports say
The body of the 34-year-old, who is originally from Mayo, was found on the Lower Road, Strawberry Beds, yesterday.
And when gardaí called to her home, in Shackleton Way in nearby Lucan, Ms Keane’s husband Darren Coleman, who is a local primary school teacher, was awoken by the officers. The baby’s body was then discovered in the house. Devastated Mr Coleman had been unaware that the baby boy had died or that anything was amiss.
Ms Keane had been seen behaving ‘suspiciously’ on the M50 toll bridge at around 3.45am yesterday morning. Her body was found a short time later.
The results of the postmortem on the infant have been inconclusive with gardaí describing the boy’s death as ‘unexplained.’ It is understood that it will now be left up to a coroner to determine the cause of the baby’s death, at an inquest.
Mother-of-one Ms Keane, who was a nurse in a Dublin hospital, and Mr Coleman moved into their new home in 2018 to start their family. The couple got engaged in 2012 and were married in Knockmore, Co. Mayo, in 2014.
Neighbours living in their estate expressed their shock and grief at the tragic news yesterday.
One said he saw Ms Keane out walking with her infant son near their home in ‘very good spirits’ the day before the tragedy.
The body of Nicola Keane, 34, was found under a bridge near the M50 in Dublin at around 4am on Tuesday morning
‘Nothing seemed out of the ordinary when I saw her pushing her child around the estate in his buggy,’ he said.
‘We didn’t know each other on a first-name basis, but the family were very pleasant and friendly. I’m just in total shock at what happened, I don’t know what else to say. I can’t get my head around how something like this could have happened.
‘I don’t think this area will ever be the same again.’
Another resident said: I’ve become so depressed after hearing what happened to this poor woman and her son.
‘My heart really goes out to her partner who must be absolutely destroyed with grief.’
Lucan Councillor Liona O’Toole expressed her ‘deepest’ sympathies to the families of the deceased. ‘The scale of this tragedy is beyond comprehension,’ she said.
‘Shackleton is a newly built estate and everyone who lives there are still getting to know one another and settle down. They now have to come to terms with this awful scenario, but I’m sure they will rally together and provide support for this poor family.
‘Everyone is just in shock and are finding it hard to believe that something like this has happened in their community. It’s just very sad.’
Fianna Fail Cllr Ed O’Brien urged people to support one another and look after their own mental health as the country moves into Level 5 restrictions.
‘It’s hard to get your head around this tragedy, but the only thing I can do is express my condolences to the family,’ he said.
‘We live in a time when we all must look out for one another to ensure that an incident like this is an isolated one.
‘God knows what the circumstances of this incident were, but I hope that anyone going through a difficult period in their lives right now seeks help.’
A Garda source confirmed last night that the postmortem on the seven-month-old child had been completed, but said the results are not being released for operational reasons. ‘The primary focus of the investigation team at this time is the preparation of an investigation file for the coroner in respect of the still unexplained death of the infant boy,’ the source said.
Gardaí are not pursuing a criminal investigation but said they are working to establish the facts around the double tragedy.
The postmortem on Ms Keane’s body is due to take place today and gardaí are not looking for anyone else in connection with the deaths.
Gardaí announced details of the double tragedy yesterday afternoon. A spokesman said: ‘Gardaí are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the discovery of a body of a woman on the Lower Road, Strawberry Beds, Lucan, Co. Dublin, and the unexplained death of an infant boy in a house in Lucan Co. Dublin on October 22, 2020
‘At approximately 3.45am on October 22, 2020, following reports of a pedestrian seen acting suspiciously at the M50 (toll plaza) bridge, gardaí discovered the body of a woman at Lower Road, Strawberry Beds.
‘Following this incident gardaí went to a house in Lucan where a seven-month-old baby boy was found in an unresponsive condition. He was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. An incident room has been established at Lucan Garda Station and a technical examination of the scene has taken place. The Coroner and Office of the State Pathologist have been notified.
‘The body of the infant has been removed to Crumlin Hospital and the body of the woman has been removed to the city morgue where postmortem examinations will be carried out.
‘The results of postmortem examinations will determine the course of Garda investigations.
‘At this stage investigating gardaí are treating these incidents as a family tragedy and are not currently seeking anyone else in connection with the deaths,’ a spokesman explained.