Funeral of girl (4) killed after being hit by car hears of ‘bright, intelligent child’

Alice Kitty Dunleavy died on Friday after being hit by a car in a caravan park in Enniscrone, Co Sligo

Four-year-old Alice Kitty Dunleavy, who died on Friday after being hit by a car in a caravan park in Enniscrone, Co Sligo, was a “bright, intelligent child, brimming with curiosity,” her funeral mass heard.

Alice’s funeral took place at St Muredach’s Cathedral in her hometown of Ballina, Co Mayo, on Monday morning, with the funeral proceeding to a local cemetery.

The mass heard that Alice was “a very courageous child who seized every moment and squeezed every last joy and happiness out of it”.

Ballina parish priest told the mass that Alice was “like many four year-olds, full of questions. Because she was seeing things for the first time she was filled with wonder which fuelled her great zest for life”.


She was “always challenging herself to keep up with her older sister Rose ... Only a few weeks ago she was happy to realise she had grown an inch and Rose hadn’t”.

Alice was on holidays with her family at the Atlantic Caravan Park when she was seriously injured in an incident involving a car.

Emergency services and gardaí were called to the scene on Friday afternoon, after the car reversed into the young girl. She was rushed to University Hospital Sligo afterwards but later died.

Her death had brought “a dark cloud over the town,” the priest said.

“She always had a smile on her face — a smile that lit up the lives of all who knew and loved her.”

“You can see in the photograph of her on the coffin, that warm smile that was magnetic. She drew the best out of her parents and enriched their lives. That’s why her death today is so heartbreaking. She was a child full of promise with so much more to give,” he said.

Alice is survived by her parents, John and Ann Marie, sisters Rose and April, and wider family.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times