harrowing scene | 

Passing motorist tried to pull mum and child (3) from burning car in Westmeath

The remains of a second child, a five-year-old girl who was due to celebrate her birthday next month, were later recovered from the vehicle

The scene at Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath today

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

A passing motorist who came across the fatal car fire that claimed the lives of two children heroically intervened to pull their mum and her younger child (3) from the vehicle.

It’s understood the car was already well ablaze when the motorist came across the harrowing scene in the townland of Lacken outside Multyfarnham, Westmeath shortly before 4 pm on Friday.

Tragically, the younger child, a little boy, later passed away, however, his mother’s life was saved.

She remains in a serious but not life-threatening condition in hospital.

The remains of a second child, a five-year-old girl who was due to celebrate her birthday next month, were later recovered from the car.

The fatal car fire was reported to gardai and emergency responders dealt with a scene that was today described as ‘harrowing.’

Former councillor and Fianna Fail area representative Brian Crum told the Sunday World today that the tightknit community of Multyfarnham is in deep shock.

“This is harrowing,” he told this newspaper.

“Both my own sympathies and the sympathies of my family are with the families of all those involved.”

A technical and forensic examination got under way at the scene last night, as gardaí work to establish how the fire began.

However, it has been reported that the fire is being treated as suspicious by gardaí who believe it may have been started deliberately.

The car was taken away for further examination.

State Pathologist Dr Sally Anne Collis was at the scene last night and is carrying out post-mortem examinations on the two children.

Garda sources say the outcome of the post-mortems and the evidence gathered from the technical examination will determine the course of the investigation.

A garda family liaison officer has been appointed, and gardaí say they will continue to support the family involved in conjunction with other State agencies.

An incident room has been set up at Mullingar Garda Station and a senior investigating officer has been appointed to lead the investigation.

Gardaí are appealing to anyone with any information in relation to the incident to contact them at Mullingar Garda Station on 044 938400 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 11.

Meanwhile, the small community of Multyfarnham is trying come to terms with the tragedy and as a mark of respect, the local GAA club has cancelled all underage games and training for boys and girls this weekend.

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