A four-year-old boy died just yards from his home after being knocked down by a van as he played.
Charlie McDonagh was seriously injured as emergency services raced to the Longford, Ireland just before 3pm, but the boy died a short time later.
Little Charlie was the eldest of three young children and his parents Charlie and Pearl are popular and respected members of the local Travelling community.
Longford Municipal District Cathaoirleach Peggy Nolan told the Irish Mirror : “There is an air of gloom hanging over the entire community and our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
“People are saying what a terrible tragedy and they are shocked.
“I got a phone call earlier from one local woman who was in tears and she was saying people will be hugging their children tighter and holding them closer tonight and that is so true.
“Everyone’s thoughts and prayers are with the family.
“I don’t know who knocked down the child but God look down on them as well.
“There’s two families whose hearts are torn out of them tonight.”
It is understood the family was being comforted by relatives last night.
Some local residents, who did not want to be identified, said they believed ramps could have previously installed on the road.
A spokesman said: “Gardaí and emergency services are attending the scene of a fatal road traffic collision at Ardnacassa, Co. Longford this afternoon, Wednesday, May 19, 2021.
“The collision involved a single vehicle and a male child and occurred at approximately 2:00pm. The male child was pronounced dead at the scene and has since been removed to Mullingar Hospital. The coroner has been notified and a post-mortem will take place at a later date.
“No other injuries have been reported.
“The scene is currently preserved for examination and local diversions are in place.
“Gardaí are appealing to anyone who may have witnessed this incident to come forward. Any road users who were travelling in the Palace Crescent area of Ardnacassa between 1:30pm – 2:30pm this afternoon, and who may have camera footage (including dash cam) is asked to make it available to Gardaí.