A hero dad who came to the aid of a toddler who fell from a third-storey apartment balcony has spoken of the horrifying moments after the shocking incident unfolded.
The three-year-old boy suffered serious injuries after falling from an apartment block in Longford town at around 10.30am yesterday.
Seamus Sheridan (52) and his son Nathan (22) rushed to the aid of the youngster and his mother after the fall at the Cuirt An Oir apartments.
Last night Seamus said he did his best to console the child's heartbroken mother.
The boy was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, in Mullingar, before being transferred to Temple Street Children's Hospital in Dublin.
"Myself and my son came to their aid," Mr Sheridan told the Herald. He said his son was in the sitting room/kitchen area of his apartment at around 10.30am yesterday when he heard a bang, which he described as "not loud".
"There was a lot of screaming and shouting and banging on doors.
"I could hear them crying and everything so I opened my door," he said.
"She said her son had fallen down from the balcony. I'm still devastated," he said.
Mr Sheridan said he let the mother, and another woman accompanying her, through his door and on to the back patio.
"I looked in and I saw the baby face down. I said to myself 'he's dead'."
"I rang the gardai straight away and my son got on the phone to the ambulance," he said.
Mr Sheridan said the ambulance crew arrived after 15 minutes.
At this stage the young mother had brought her son to the front of the apartment block.
He described how he tried to console the distraught mother.
"He was opening and closing his eyes, he had his little fingers inside his mouth.
"I was just testing to see if he was breathing," he said.
"It was terrible to see," he added. "The girl had the little baby in her arms. I was trying to comfort her as much as I could.
"I tried to keep her as calm as possible.
''I said 'relax, stay calm, your baby is going to be OK, there's help on the way'."
"She kept saying 'is my baby going to be ok? Is my baby going to be ok? Please wake up, please wake up'.
"And I said please, stay calm, your baby is going to be fine," he said.
Investigating officers visited the scene yesterday, but it's understood they are treating the incident as a tragic accident.
Emergency services attended the scene and the boy was rushed to Mullingar's Midland Regional Hospital.
He remained in a serious condition in hospital in Dublin last night.