A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy died after he was struck by a passing car, while playing near his home.
The family of Anthony Fitzgerald was last night being consoled by relatives and neighbours at their home in Murroe, Co Limerick, following Wednesday evening's accident.
Anthony -- who was on his Easter holidays from Killinure National School -- was playing with a friend beside the Ros Fearna housing estate in the village when he emerged from a ditch and into the path of a passing car.
The accident happened shortly after 5pm on the Limerick road and emergency services were alerted.
The boy was rushed to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick but was pronounced dead shortly after.
The accident happened at the same spot where pedestrian John Sheehan (32) died after he was struck by a van while out walking in December 2007.
Distraught members of Anthony's family gathered in silence at the crash scene yesterday, and a toy digger and candle in memory of the youngster were placed by mourners.
The youngest son of Anthony and Camie Fitzgerald, Anthony has three sisters; Nora, Kathleen and Caroline; and two brothers, William and Johnny. Cousins and relations living in the UK were yesterday travelling to Limerick to be with the Fitzgerald family.
Killinure National School principal Carmel Power told the Irish Independent that the last time she saw Anthony was when he finished school for the holidays.
"He loved his games and loved his animals," Ms Power said.
"Anthony was loved here by every single one of his friends, fellow pupils and staff members. He was a gorgeous young fella. You couldn't meet nicer than him -- he was salt of the earth."
Local councillor John Egan said the thoughts and prayers of everyone in Murroe were with the Fitzgerald family.
"It is tragic for this to happen to a child so young," Mr Egan added.
Murroe residents have rallied around the grieving family since the death, with a steady stream of food trays being brought to the family home.
One resident said: "My children were friends with him.
"They would be cycling their bikes around. He was a great young fellow who is playing with the angels now."
Anthony's remains will be brought to St John's Cathedral in Limerick this evening. The funeral Mass will be held at 10am tomorrow.