A relative of the baby girl who died after she was attacked by a dog at her family home in Co Waterford has asked:"How do you get over something like this?"
"Just to see the tragedy and the loss on their faces... it's heartbreaking, words can't describe" Mia O'Connell 's grandaunt Dianne Wood told Damien Tiernan on WLR FM. Mia will be laid to rest on Wednesday following a private service at a funeral home in Youghal in Co Cork.
“She was always laughing and smiling. She brought joy to her parents. She is going to be so missed.
“It never happens to you. It is always somebody else. To have it hit home and to see the tragedy and the loss on their faces. It is heart breaking. Words can’t describe. How do you get over something like this?”
Ms Wood said that Ella was a “first time mum” who doted on her daughter.
“The first smiles and looking forward to the first words and sitting up and everything every young Mum looks forward to just taken away.
Ms Wood said the massive support received in recent days was of huge comfort to the relatives of “beautiful” Mia.
“Everybody has been so good. All the country far and wide with all the prayers and the thoughts.
Ms Wood said they would cherish their memories of their “beautiful, beautiful little girl.”
“It has shocked the community. This is when the country comes together and you can really feel the warmth.”
The family of the girl, who died at her home in Clashmore, Co Waterford, issued a statement of thanks following a massive outpouring of solidarity in the community since the tragedy occurred on Monday.
In a statement to WLR FM, a member of the family said; “We would like to thank everyone for their support, kind words and prayers at this time.
We would also like commend the paramedics who came to the scene, and the Rapid Response Unit from Youghal.”
She was asleep in a bed upstairs in her terraced home in Clashmore when the dog, a cross between a Labrador and a Jack Russell, attacked her in the early hours of Monday morning.
She was taken by ambulance to Cork University Hospital where she was pronounced dead shortly after 3am on Monday.
A postmortem examination was completed by Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, the results of which will not be released for operational reasons.
A file be prepared for the County Coroner and a inquest will be held at a later date. The dog has been put down. A family liaison officer has been appointed to support the relatives of the infant at this difficult time.
Mia was born in late February to parents Rhys O'Connell and Ella Wood. The couple got engaged last New Year's Eve.
The mother of the child is aged in her 20s and moved to the area relatively recently. The father is aged 32.
The child’s mother, Ella, was in the property with her aunt Ella Wood, her partner Rhys O’Connell’s mother, Noreen and her partner Barry Dillon when they ran upstairs to find Mia seriously injured.
The emergency services were alerted and gardai performed CPR on Mia before the paramedics arrived and rushed her to hospital.
Gardai have re iterated their appeal for privacy for the grieving family.