‘A tragedy of the worst kind’: Families in mourning as 18-month-old boy is killed in Clare road incident

Parish priest said prayers with parents of Hunter Molloy at Ballaghboy halting site in Ennis

Gardaí at the scene of the incident in Ennis on Wednesday.

A number of extended Co Clare families have been “plunged into sadness” by a tragic incident in which an 18-month old boy was killed, the parish priest of Ennis has said.

Fr Tom Ryan was speaking from the Ballaghboy halting site on the Quin Rd on Wednesday evening after meeting and saying prayers with the family of the child, named locally as Hunter Molloy.

Fr Ryan said he married the boy’s parents, Peter and Alisha Molloy, some years ago. The couple have two other children and another on the way.

Gardaí were still present at the scene on Wednesday evening as part of the investigation into the circumstances of the fatal road traffic incident, with forensic collision investigators carrying out an examination.

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The fatal incident occurred shortly before 12:30pm on Wednesday. Hunter was transferred from the scene to University Hospital Limerick (UHL) where he was pronounced dead.

Fr Ryan, who christened the deceased, said Hunter was due to celebrate his 2nd birthday in October.

“This is just a pure tragedy to beset a family - a tragedy of the worst kind,” he said.

“I visited the family this evening and we gathered for a little prayer service on the grounds of the site. Praying for each one of them that they would have the strength they need at this time to be able to cope with the devastating news bestowed on them today on the death of this little child in the tragic accident.

“The sympathy and the prayers of the community are with them.”

Fr Ryan said the visit to be with the family was “a necessary one” to make.

“It is not just a family but families as they are all extended families who are plunged into sadness and tragedy by one second,” he said. “They need support and as a parish priest I was offering them that support and I would have known the family for many years.”

Gardaí confirmed that a family liaison officer has been appointed to support the family.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times