Mother pays emotional tribute to daughter (8) killed in tragic farm accident
'All I want to do is just see my beautiful, intelligent daughter'
The mother of a girl killed in a tragic farm accident has described her beloved daughter as a "bright, intelligent, popular girl."
In an emotional tribute to her eldest of four children, Linda Dinsberga, said, all she wanted was to hold her daughter, Paula, (8).
"People are asking me what do I need. All I want to do is just see my daughter," she said wiping tears from her eyes.
There were heartbreaking scenes at the Dinsberga home in Limerick this afternoon as shocked friends and relatives called to offer their condolences.
The deceased girl's parents, who had earlier attended a relative's wedding in their native Latvia, landed off a plane at Dublin Airport at midnight, oblivious that their daughter had passed away six hours previously.
The distraught couple were met off the plane by Mallow Gardai who delivered the awful news.
While her parents were away, little Paula had been staying with family friends, who operate a rented farm at Rusheen, Newtownshandrum, outside Charleville, Co Cork. According to Gardai, Paula and a friend named locally as Kerija Pliesnanis, 11, apparently ran in front of a tractor been driven by the older girl's father Edgar.
Gardai said Mr Pliesnanis slammed on the brakes of the tractor after both girls, who were playing nearby, ran across his path. The two girls were crushed under the weight of a front loader which fell off the tractor, pinning them both to the ground.
At her home in Dooradoyle, Limerick, Linda Dinsberga and husband Raivo, cradled each other as they tried to come to terms with their sudden loss.
Earlier in the day, they both prepared a picture of their daughter and lit a candle beside it in their kitchen where relatives and friends came to offer their prayers and pay their respects.
Clutching her daughter's photograph, which she had lovingly prepared in her home, Mrs Dinsberga said: "She was bright, she was so smart, and she had loads of friends. She was so beautiful."
The heartbroken parents, who have an infant daughter and two older sons, said all they wanted to do was travel to Cork to see their daughter. They were waiting for a post mortem to be carried out at Cork University Hospital.
"We just flew home last night. I can't believe it, oh god. I just want to see her but at can't," Mrs Dinsberga said.
"We are waiting for (Gardai) to call us and (then) we can go and see her. Everybody asks what I need, but I just want to see my daughter."
"We have three more children. (Paula) was the oldest. We have two boys and a smaller girl."
Mr Dinsberga added: "The Gardai were waiting for us (at the airport) to tell us. It is just unbelievable."
According to Gardai, the deceased was killed instantly, however 11-year old Kerija, was airlifted to Cork University Hospital where she remains in a critical but stable condition. Her family were keeping a vigil at her bedside, hoping she would pull through. It's believed she sustained serious head and chest injuries.
The farming community of Newtownshandrum was plunged into grief as news of their Latvian neighbours began to filter through this morning. Neighbours said the family, who had moved to the area approximately a year ago, were "hardworking quiet people" who "kept to themselves".
Retired Very Reverend Canon Michael Harrington, Charleville, was called out to the tragic scene last evening to pray over the girls.
He described arriving at the scene as one of the "blackest nights" ever.
"There was a very great presence of the Gardai and the paramedics there, and I would say, their handling of the situation was exemplary. It was excellent in every possible way including their help in taking me out there," Fr Harrington said.
"There was a little girl and she was dead. I gave her the last rites in so far as I could."
"The injured girl was (still) there in the field. I carried out whatever services I could to be of consolation to her parents," Fr Harrington explained.
He added: "It is a terrible tragedy, of course for this farming community."
The horrific tragedy occurred at approximately 6.30pm, Gardai said.
"It would appear that they ran in front of the tractor, so they were playing nearby, and (the driver) braked and the bucket fell off. It's his daughter that is seriously injured. She's eleven. He went to the hospital immediately with his daughter," Superintendent Pat McCarthy, Mallow Garda station, said.
"It's a tragic accident from what we know. It will be investigated by the HSA (Health and Safety Authority). The deceased's family are living in Limerick City. There will be a (garda) file for the coroner. Obviously we will look into it but the HSA will also investigate it," he added.
Gardai and officials from the HSA are both carrying out separate enquiries.
The tractor and front loader were removed from the scene at 1.30pm and will be subjected to a detailed forensic examination.
Neighbours and friends of both families were rallying around those caught up in the terrible tragedy.
A man out walking near the scene said: "The whole place is devastated. It's an awful tragedy. That's basically all I can say."
Locals said, last year fire crews were called out to the farm to deal with a gorse fire, which destroyed a large acreage of silage.
A neighbouring landowner added: "The family moved here (recently) and are renting the place from a local man who is living in New Zealand. I can't imagine what they are going through now."