Tractor tragedy girl was family's 'beautiful little darling'
THE family of a four-year-old girl who died after falling from a tractor last night paid tribute to their "beautiful, chatty little girl".
Little Maria McInerney from Ballyegan in Birr, Co Offaly, died after the tragic accident at her grandfather's house in Killeigh, Co Offaly, at tea-time on Friday.
She was playing on the tractor when she slipped and fell off, hitting her head. After the accident she was rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, but was pronounced dead when she arrived.
Last night, as Maria's family gathered her favourite dolls to put into her coffin for this morning's funeral, they spoke of their "little darling".
Maria's mother Louise said the small child had "two of the most sparkling brown eyes you'd ever seen and a smile that could break anyone's heart".
She said she was "so beautiful and full of devilment".
Her great-aunt Teresa Dunne said: "She was always chatting. She loved dancing and music. Her favourite songs were 'Daddy's girl', 'Jolene' and 'I'll tell me ma'.
"She was a real girlie-girl too, she loved getting her nails painted and trying on high heels. She was just fascinated with everything."
The curly-haired youngster, the second youngest of six children, was due to start school in September.
Ms Dunne said the family were distraught.
"The family are devastated. They are just going on adrenaline now. It's a terrible, sad occasion. It should never happen to anyone. Dad is in bits, just so shocked."
Ms Dunne said that Maria was a "little woman" who loved to be involved in everything.
She said Maria loved to play on the tractor she fell from.
"She loved the tractor. She loved to go to the bog and bring back turf."
Maria is survived by her mother Louise, father Michael and five siblings: Chloe (12), Ellen (10), Terence (8), Michael (6), and Chantelle (2).
The little girl was being waked by her heartbroken family at her grandmother's house in Crinkill, Birr, last night.
The removal takes place at 9.15am today at St Brendan's Church in Birr for funeral Mass at 10am. Burial takes place afterwards in Clonoghill Cemetery.