Tributes paid to 'kind little boy' who died after McDonald's visit
A boy (10) who died after a family outing to McDonald's has been remembered as a "kind little boy with a great smile".
Maleek Lawal was with his mother when he became ill near the Moore Street Mall in Dublin's north-inner city last Friday.
He had visited a McDonald's restaurant in the Ilac Shopping Centre earlier that day, but collapsed shortly before 6.15pm.
An ambulance was called and took Maleek to the nearby Temple Street Hospital. Despite the best efforts of medical staff he was later pronounced dead.
Eilish Meagherm principal of St Audoen's National School paid tribute to the young pupil.
"Maleek (10) was a fifth-class student in St Audoen's NS. He was a very popular, friendly and kind little boy with a great smile. Maleek loved sport, in particular football.
"We are devastated by his sudden death. He will be greatly missed by staff and students alike," Ms Meagher said.
"We would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his family and friends.
"We have engaged the assistance of the National Educational Psychological Service to support our staff and students at this difficult time," she added.
Iveagh Trust FC, a local soccer club that Maleek joined with his younger brother just last month, also paid tribute to the young boy.
"We are shocked and deeply saddened at the news of the passing of one of our new players," the club's secretary Brendan D'Arcy said.
"Maleek was just starting out with our club with his brother. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with Maleek's family, friends and club mates."
The young footballer was expected to play his first game for the club tomorrow morning. The club has called off all of its scheduled games this weekend as a mark of respect.
Maleek, the eldest of three children, lived on Parnell Road, Dolphin's Barn with his mother and siblings. The family have lived there for almost a year.
Locals said the community was devastated by Maleek's sudden death. His heart-broken mother and siblings are being comforted.
While the cause of Maleek's death is not yet confirmed, one theory being investigated is that he may have suffered an anaphylactic shock as a result of a food reaction.
However, post-mortem results have not yet been released.
It is understood he was being treated for asthma. It is not known if this was a factor or not in his sudden death.
Anaphylaxis is a serious allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal in some cases.
It is understood the family would go to McDonald's every Friday after school as a treat.
In a statement the restaurant said: "Management and staff wish to extend their deepest sympathies to the family involved.
"As a point of clarification, the company wishes to advise that this tragic incident did not occur in a McDonald's restaurant."
Gardai from Store Street Station are now investigating the incident for the purposes of preparing a report for the Dublin Coroner's Court.