It is understood the boy, named locally as Padraig Cunningham, was fatally injured when he was struck by a vehicle at a private residence, in the Ballyduhig area of West Limerick, at around 10.30am on Friday morning.
Emergency services rushed to the scene and desperately tried to save the boy’s life but he later was pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick.
A post mortem will be conducted by a local pathologistand the matter referred to the office of the Limerick Coroner for an inquest.
Killeedy parish priest Fr John Keating said there is a sense of deep shock within the community following the tragic accident.
“There is a cloud hanging over the place, they’re a lovely family. They’re a very caring, very gentle family and very devoted to their children,” he said.
“They’re very involved in the community and I think it really went against the grain, something like that to happen.
“The community has been through many tragedies before, people are very resilient. The rest of the community will keep them going and lift them again.”
Fr Keating said the people of Ashford and Raheenagh are a very close-knit community.
He added: “You’d travel a long way to find a closer group of people.”
Local councillor Michael Collins, who knows the family very well, said this was a tragic incident.
“What can one say because it’s so personal to the family, there isn’t much you can say that can console them or help them,” he said.
“It’s just so tragic for the poor family. The whole community locally feel very much for them and what they’re going through.”
A garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of an incident on private property, in Broadford, Co Limerick this morning, Friday, 22nd July 2022.
“A 3 year old child later passed away from his injuries. A family liaison officer has been appointed to support the family at this time.”