THE family of a two-year-old boy who died after he was knocked down by a car in the driveway of his home was being comforted by neighbours and relatives today.
Gardai and forensic investigators have travelled to the scene of the horrific accident which occurred at around 8pm yesterday evening.
The toddler - named locally as Tomás O’Connor - died from his injuries following the incident at his family home in Derrydonnell, Oranmore, Co Galway.
It is understood the car was being driven by a relative at the time.
An ambulance rushed the boy to University Hospital Galway (UHG) but the toddler had been fatally injured in the incident.
Gardai from Galway are treating the incident as a tragic accident. They added that nobody is being sought in relation to the incident.
His father, John O’Connor, and his mother Maeve Ni Fhlaithearta, who is from the Aran Islands, were today being comforted by relatives.
A technical examination of the scene was carried out by gardai this morning.
The family had only moved to the area in the last few months and Ms Ni Fhlaithearta is a teacher in a local Gaelscoil.
One local man, who did not want to be named, said that he heard the sirens from the emergency vehicles yesterday evening.
“It’s a very quiet area so when I heard the sirens, I knew something was wrong. It’s absolutely shocking. My heart goes out to the family.”
“For this to happen to anyone it is horrendous,” he added.
Local Fine Gael Cllr Frank Kearney said he was stunned by the tragic news.
“This is just a horrible tragic incident. It is heartbreaking when it happens anywhere but even more so when it happens in your own community. Our hearts go out the family, all the extended family will be very badly affected by this,” he said.
“It’s terribly upsetting. I suppose it’s a warning to be more vigilant to all of us where there are toddlers around. It’s not the first time an accident like this has happened and no doubt it won’t be the last,” he added.
The tragic incident was the fourth involving young children in the space of a month.
Liam Lyons (5) died at the beginning of August when he became entangled in farm machinery in a wheat field in Ferbane, Co Offaly.
Three-year-old Fionn Mulhall suffered crush injuries after he was trapped beside a JCB which was working in a farmyard outside Drimoleague in west Cork on August 1.
And in Tipperary on the same day, Thomas Ryan (2) was run over by a van while his parents thought he was asleep in bed.