'The joy of the family' - Toddler dies after freak fall down stairs while playing in his home
Parents 'devastated' by boy's death
A 15-month-old toddler has died in a freak accident after apparently tumbling down stairs while playing at his home.
Gardaí confirmed the incident, which happened at lunchtime on Tuesday, and said it was being treated as a tragic accident.
The toddler, named locally as Sé Joyce, had been playing at his Castleboro home in Clonroche, Co Wexford, when the freak accident occurred.
Emergency services rushed the infant to Wexford General Hospital. However, despite the best efforts of paramedics to resuscitate the little boy, he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Sé, described as "the joy of the family", was the youngest child of Padraig Joyce and Brenda Quirke. He is also survived by his three older siblings, aged three, 10 and 15.
The parents have been left devastated by the tragic death of their youngest child and last night were being comforted by family and loved ones at their home.
Dozens of people arrived throughout the day to express their sympathies with the family, who are well known and well respected within the area.
It is understood Sé sustained serious head and neck injuries in the accidental fall as he was playing in his home.
He was found by a shocked adult in an unresponsive condition at the foot of the stairs.
Gardaí are investigating the toddler's death and will prepare a file for the local coroner.
"Gardaí in Wexford are investigating the sudden death of an infant male who was pronounced dead at Wexford General Hospital [on Tuesday] afternoon after being brought from Clonroche," a Garda spokesperson said.
"Gardaí are preparing a file for the coroner. It is not believed to be suspicious."
The community of Clonroche has been left in deep shock following what has been described as a "freak accident", with parish priest Fr Bernard Cushen saying that local people will be supporting the family over the coming days.
"It is an awful tragedy and a freak accident, from what I can gather. Baby Sé was only 15-months-old, he was born last year in January, and his christening was last April. It was a lovely day.
"He was the joy of the family, and they're a very close-knit family. They are absolutely devastated, they're really in a bad way.
"The community are excellent, the way they gel and will support the family," he said.
"Today there has been people at the home the whole time, there's that many people coming and going to give them support and if anything needs to be done. It's devastating," he added.
Clonroche locals admitted they have been left heartbroken by the tragedy.
"Everyone is stunned - no one could believe the news," one local said.
Councillor John Fleming said everyone in the tight-knit area was doing their best to support the family. "It is absolutely heartbreaking to see a family lose a child in such a freak accident like this.
"Clonroche is a very tight-knit community and everyone will now be doing their best to support and comfort the family at this very difficult time. The whole community is under a cloud since this happened."