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Friday 22 September 2017

Family of tragic boy (6) found on side of road 'totally distraught'

The exact circumstances of how Donnacadh received fatal head injuries remain unclear

Donnacadh Maguire
Donnacadh Maguire

Donna Deeney

The heartbroken parents of a little boy who died after he was found with serious injuries lying on a road in Derry are "totally distraught" with grief as they await the release of his remains from the authorities.

Six-year-old Donnacadh Maguire was last seen playing happily outside his Bogside home in Tryconnell Street, moments before tragedy struck.

The exact circumstances of how Donnacadh received fatal head injuries remain unclear, with police saying one possibility was "as a result of a collision with a vehicle".

A post mortem is expected to take place today.

Meanwhile, neighbours and friends continue to rally around the family, offering support and comfort.

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue, who lives nearby, said nothing could be said to comfort little Donnacadh's parents.

She said: "Donnacadh's poor mother is beside herself with grief, she is totally distraught, they all are.

"There is nothing anyone could say to give comfort to them. They are in complete shock and overwhelming grief.

"Counselling has been organised to help them and the neighbours, and especially the young ones in the street, come to terms with this terrible tragedy."

Among them, one woman with her own young children, said everyone in the street has been numbed by what happened.

She said: "I think the shock of what happened is only sinking in now.

"To the day God takes me, I will never forget the sight of wee Donnacadh lying there with the other neighbours trying to save him.

"This street is full of children and they are always outside if there is a blink of sunshine, but there's not one in the street today. We are all too afraid to let them out to play, but they don't want to go out either

"I heard that someone was organising counselling, which I think it a really good idea because I know my own two children have been badly traumatised and I don't know what to say to them.

"I explained the best I could that God wanted wee Donnacadh for an angel and that he is now up in heaven.

"I haven't been down to see the family yet, I don't know what to say. I feel so, so sorry for them."

Among those who visited the grieving couple was Fr Paul Farren of St Eugene's Cathedral, from where the boy will be laid to rest once funeral arrangements have been finalised.

Fr Farren said: "I visited the family home and as you can imagine, this is the most awful tragedy that can visit any home.

"Donnacadh was a pupil in St Eugene's Primary School with his whole life ahead of him, so this is an unspeakable tragedy.

"The loss of a child with his whole life ahead of him is hard to understand, it is inexplicable.

"The family are in deep shock, their lives have been changed in such an awful way forever.

"All we can do as a community is to pray for them and support them in any way possible.

"The questions a death like this brings just can't be answered. We never get used to the pain of the death of a young child, who should be outside playing in beautiful weather."

A police spokesman renewed the appeal for anyone who was in Tryconnell Street on Tuesday morning to contact them.

He said: "While it is possible that his injuries were sustained as the result of a collision with a vehicle, we need to establish exactly what happened.

"If you were in Tyrconnell Street on Tuesday morning between 10am and 10.30am, please get in touch with officers."

Belfast Telegraph

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