Locals left reeling over little girl's road death
Locals are in mourning for a five-year-old girl who was tragically killed after she was hit by a van while playing with her cousins.
Maria McGinley Greene was outside near her home in St Brigid's Place in Portlaoise on Saturday when she was struck by a van at around 12.20pm.
It is understood that the van was being driven by a woman, who was questioned at the scene by gardai.
The girl was taken to the Midland's Regional Hospital in Portlaoise for treatment, but was later pronounced dead.
The girl's parents, Stephen and Amanda, and seven-month-old brother were joined by relatives and friends at their home yesterday, where a private wake was held ahead of the funeral tomorrow.
A close family friend described Maria as "a lovely little child".
They told the Irish Independent: "There's a sense of deep, deep anguish, and great shock. For them, it's a bad dream from which they want to wake up.
"The life of their vibrant, beautiful daughter has been suddenly taken, and with that their hearts have been broken as well.
"But they're a very strong family unit, and they come from a very good community, which has rallied around them in support.
"There's a vulnerability and a real sense of tragedy amongst the whole parish."