Tributes to 'bright' Mark (7) tragically killed on farm
An entire community in south county Galway is shell-shocked following the tragic death of a seven-year-old boy who died after falling into farm machinery at his family's farm.
The boy, named locally as Mark Fordham, was an only child from a well respected farm family who grow potatoes and grain on their farm in Keamnella, Kilcolgan, Co Galway.
He was seriously injured after accidentally slipping into a machine used to sort potatoes in a shed outside the family home around 11am yesterday and died en route to University Hospital Galway, according to a local resident.
It's understood that his heartbroken parents remained at the hospital last night while they were being comforted by family.
The tragic accident, which is under investigation by the Health Safety Authority and gardai has left the entire local community in shock.
Prayers were said for Mark at local masses last night and will be repeated again today as the local community comes to term with the tragedy.
"It's horrible," one local man said. "The family have lived here for generations. They're highly respected. People are numbed and shocked."
He described Mark as "a very bright little boy who was very good at school" who was looking forward to making his First Communion next year.
"They are just a lovely family and well respected in all the local communities. The whole of south Galway is numbed with grief at the news. For them to lose their only child so close to Christmas is heartbreaking," he said.
His tragic death is believed to be the 17th fatal farm accident in the Republic so far this year, on top of five in northern Ireland.
In 2014, 30 people died in farm accidents on the island of Ireland.