THE family of a 19-month-old boy who was found dead in his creche are said to be "desolate".
Little Fiachra McMahon was found by a worker at the Wonderwise creche, in Castlebridge, Co Wexford, on Tuesday.
She had gone to check on him that evening and realised that he wasn't responsive.
Local parish priest for Wexford town Fr Walter Forde told the Herald today that the community is rallying around his parents Padraig and Elaine McMahon, but that they are traumatised.
"The tragic loss of a child is just devastating. Everybody, the whole community here, is devastated.
"As you can imagine, the extended family are desolate. There are no words to console people in that situation," he said.
"This is a small community. Everybody knows everyone else. Friends will rally around. People are just numb," he said.
Fr Forde said that the last time he saw the child was when he Christened him more than a year ago.
The facility where Fiachra was found is just outside the town. The alarm was raised at around 4pm.
Gardai and an ambulance rushed to the scene, but it is understood it was already too late.
Attempts were made to resuscitate Fiachra on the way to Wexford General Hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later. He was taken to Crumlin Hospital in Dublin for a post-mortem.
Gardai are treating the incident as a tragic accident and are investigating if the child got his head caught in the railings of his cot, among other possible causes of death.
Fiachra's heartbroken parents have been described as "wonderfully popular people".
The Wonderwise creche, which was opened in 1999 by local woman Priscilla Kinsella, a qualified Montessori teacher, will remain closed for at least one week.
Fiachra was the couple's only child. They lived in Wexford town but were also very well known in the Castlebridge area.
Elaine is a school teacher in nearby Barntown while Padraig is a carpenter and member of Shelmalier GAA club.
Padraig had also previously done humanitarian work and worked building houses in South Africa as part of the Niall Mellon Township Trust.
Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor said that the incident was a tragedy of unspeakable proportions.
"The loss of a young life, and particularly at this time of year, is something that doesn't bear thinking about.
"I know the entire community of Wexford and beyond are thinking and praying for the family at this time," he said.
Mr Lawlor said the Montessori was a run by a well-respected family.
"Due to unforeseen circumstances, Wonderwise will remain closed for the coming week," a message left on the creche's voicemail today said.