Tributes have been paid to a 10-year-old boy who died in an apparent drowning at a house in Carlingford, Co Louth on Thursday morning.
A post mortem was taking place on Thursday night at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda to determine the cause of Joshua (Joshie) Hill's death. It was expected to confirm he drowned, possibly in a hot tub at the family home.
Gardaí, the fire service and the ambulance service all responded to the emergency on Thursday morning. Joshua was taken by ambulance to hospital in Drogheda where his death was later confirmed.
A notice on RIP.ie says: “Joshie’s memory will be cherished forever by his heartbroken parents Olivia and Peter, best friend & brother Oliver, adoring grandparents...uncles and aunts...and close family and friends.”
SDLP MLA and former Armagh footballer Justin McNulty said the accident is "shocking and heartbreaking for the Hill family and for communities of Killeavy and Carlingford".
“My thoughts and prayers are with Joshua’s parents Olivia and Peter, with his older brother Oliver and with the Hill & Mackin families and friends at this terrible time,” he wrote on social media.
The young boy’s death has caused deep shock in the tight knit community.
Louth county councillor Erin McGreehan (FF) said: “To lose somebody so young and somebody so tragically, is difficult to understand and to reconcile,” she said.
There was “a huge sense of loss is on all our shoulders. The boy will be on everyone’s mind and lips and going on, we will always remember him. That sort of tragedy never leaves the village,” she said.
Expressing her condolences to the family, who are understood to have moved to the village a number of years ago, Cllr McGreehan also said,”we have a very strong community in Carlingford and the area and we will rally around them.”
She said the loss “is incomprehensible and is so very sad and tragic. This started off as a beautiful day in a beautiful place; it could be any of us, any of our families and our hearts are breaking for them.”
She said, “We have one primary school, one community centre and one market square, we are a community and a dark cloud has come over us.”
One woman in the village, who did not want her name used, said, “life is so precious, you do not know what is around the corner. We are all very shocked. I feel for the family especially losing their child at home.” Another woman said, “it is desperately sad and very horrific.”
A file is to be prepared for the Coroner’s Court. Funeral mass will be at St Michael’s Church in Carlingford on Saturday morning.