'It could have happened to any of us' - Little Cillian (1) died in tragic driveway accident
The parents of a little boy who died tragically at his Galway home this week were being comforted by family members as the entire community remains blanketed in grief.
Locals in Clynagh, Carraroe, Co Galway, have been rallying around Maire-Ros and Mairtin Ó Cualáin after their 21-month-old son Cillian died when he was knocked down in the driveway of his home just before 4pm on Wednesday.
His heartbroken parents had just recently welcomed a baby girl, Áine, to their family and were said to be over the moon.
They had also moved into their new home after renovating the old building, which is close to Mairtin's family, last year. They are now being comforted by their extended family and the entire community, who were left "reeling" by the tragic accident.
"They are a lovely young couple who were enjoying a great start to their life together. This tragedy is every parent's nightmare and it's going to take them a very long time to try and overcome the trauma and their loss. It's just unthinkable," said neighbour Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
He said "a dark cloud" was hanging over the community.
The accident happened after a friend of the couple, who had come to see the new baby, was driving off.
"Cillian and his mother went outside to say goodbye to them and the little fella pulled away from his mother just as the car was moving off. It was just a tragic accident.
"It could have happened to any of us with small children," said Mr Ó Clochartaigh.
Emergency services were called and immediately rushed to the scene along with the air ambulance. However, despite arriving at the scene very quickly, they were not able to save the little boy, who was just months short of his second birthday.
"Emergency services did everything they could. They really were very quick to respond. Unfortunately, in this case there wasn't anything that could be done to save little Cillian," added Mr Ó Clochartaigh.
The toddler was air-lifted to University Hospital Galway, where he was later pronounced dead. A post-mortem took place on his remains yesterday.
Forensic collision investigators also attended the scene on Wednesday to carry out an examination.
Mr Ó Clochartaigh said the thoughts and prayers of the entire community were with the family.
"The whole community is devastated on hearing the news, there is just a dark cloud over the place. It's very hard for people to take in, but the whole village is stunned completely by what has happened.
"Both families are very well known locally and so well liked. They all live very locally and are a big part of the community.They are all absolutely devastated by this," he added.
The heartbroken family is now making funeral arrangements for little Cillian as they deal with their grief.