Thousands pay tribute to bike-crash victim Bridget (11) - 'a kind, talented girl'
Tributes have been pouring in for a "wonderful" little girl who died after she was knocked off her bike while cycling with her younger brother on Easter Sunday.
The outpouring of grief was far reaching yesterday as family and friends mourned the loss of 11-year-old Bridget Ward.
Prayers were also said for her eight-year-old brother, Patrick, who is still being treated in Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway.
Bridget and Patrick were riding their bikes near Ballinasloe when they were involved in a collision with a BMW car.
Fr Bernard Costello, who was yesterday with the family, said: "Patrick's doing well. He's going to be OK."
Bridget, a pupil at Eglish Primary School in Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, was described by staff as a "kind, talented, wonderful girl" who would "always hold a special place in our hearts".
The funeral is likely to take place in Ahascragh in the next couple of days and it's expected there will be a huge turnout for the little girl who'd made such a huge impact during her short life.
Thousands of tributes have been posted online in the wake of Bridget's death.
A friend wrote on Facebook: "RIP Bridget... My heart is breaking for your family. Look over your mommy, daddy and brothers and sisters at this sad time."
Another said: "Rest in peace Bridget, only 11. A beautiful girl. May she rest in peace.
"Thoughts and prayers with all the family and please God, a speedy recovery for little Patrick. God bless him."
An online tribute posted by Eglish Primary School said: "Our school community is deeply saddened by the news of the tragic death of our student, classmate and friend, Bridget.
"A kind, talented and wonderful girl in so many ways, she will always hold a special place in our hearts.
"May her gentle soul rest in peace. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family on this sad day and we pray for a full and speedy recovery for her brother, Paddy."
Bridget and her brother were cycling close to their home at the time of the accident.
Both children were taken to Portiuncula Hospital where Bridget was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Patrick was said to be in a serious condition on Sunday, but was recovering well yesterday with his family by his bed.
Local Fine Gael councillor Michael Finnerty said: "One small ray of light today is that little Patrick is recovering well in hospital.
"Maybe a small bit of light can come out of this tragedy today."
Cllr Finnerty thanked the emergency services for rushing to the scene on Easter Sunday.