herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Community rallying around family of car tragedy boy (2)

THE parents of a two-year-old boy who died after he was knocked down in the driveway of his family home tried desperately to save him with the help of neighbours.

Little Tomas O'Connor, from Derrydonnell, Oranmore, Co Galway, died after he was hit by a jeep that his father was believed to have been driving on Monday evening.

John O'Connor is understood to have jump-started the vehicle outside the family home and was unaware that his young son had left the house when he began to drive off. However, within seconds he realised something was wrong and leapt from the vehicle.

The child's mother, Maeve Ni Fhlaithearta, also rushed from the house and the pair discovered their only child had suffered serious injuries.

Upset locals revealed how neighbours had tried to resuscitate the toddler while emergency services made their way to the scene.

DEVASTATED

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance arrived at the home shortly before 9pm and the little boy was rushed to Galway University Hospital.

However, he had suffered fatal injuries in the tragedy and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

It is understood the family had only moved into the area in recent months. Ms Ni Fhlaithearta, who is originally from the Aran Islands, is the vice-principal at the local Gaelscoil Riada in Athenry. Mr O'Connor is also believed to be from the Galway area.

Gardai carried out a technical examination of the scene yesterday morning. However, it is understood they are treating the incident as a tragic accident and nobody is being sought in relation to the matter.

"The whole community is just devastated by this," said one local.

Heartbroken neighbours left floral tributes at the house yesterday as the entire community struggled to deal with the tragic death.

Another local man told how he had become concerned when he heard the sirens from the emergency vehicles, adding that he knew something was wrong.

Local Fine Gael councillor Frank Kearney said the local community was trying to support the family who were well-liked and respected in the area.

"It's a very hard thing for this family. The community is in shock. Something like this is very difficult in your own area.

hnews@herald.ie

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