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'Heart of gold' Tributes to tragic Charles 'Charlie' McDonagh (4) killed in road accident in Co Longford

This afternoon, locals who live on the estate, told of how the tragedy had left the local community in a state of shock.

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Charlie McDonagh

Charlie McDonagh

Charlie McDonagh

A four year old boy who died in a road accident in a Co Longford housing estate yesterday has been remembered as a “lovely little gasun” who had a “heart of gold”.

Tragic Charlie McDonagh died following a fatal road traffic collision shortly after 2pm in the Palace Crescent area of Ardnacassa.

It’s understood the collision involved a delivery van driver who had been in the area at the time.

He is said to be “shaken up” by the events of yesterday afternoon.

The young boy’s parents, who also have two younger children, are being cared for by close family and relatives.

Emergency services attended the scene within minutes but were unable to save the toddler.

A forensic examination took place yesterday afternoon with the scene being cordoned off for a number of hours.

A shrine displaying a collection of teddy bears and a police car have been erected at the scene in memory of the little boy.

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A postmortem is due to take place later today at Mullingar’s Midlands Regional Hospital as gardaí look to establish the circumstances behind yesterday’s tragic incident.

This afternoon, locals who live on the estate, told of how the tragedy had left the local community in a state of shock.

John Keenan, who has been a next door neighbour to the family for the past three and a half years, said he and many others living nearby were struggling to come to terms with the news.

“Charlie was a lovely little gasun,” he said.

“He had a heart of gold. Me and him were good friends and he was always out playing.”

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A few yards across from a green area where the young boy was fatally injured, mother of three Favour Ede, spoke of how locals had been left devastated by the tragedy.

“I was inside,” she said, when recalling the incident.

“I am so, so sad today. My husband and my family are in shock.”

Local councillor Seamus Butler of Fianna Fail said: “It’s an absolutely terrible tragedy, to happen out of the blue like that, at three o' clock on what was a lovely spring afternoon. It’s just devastating. And I can't imagine what the family is going through. Our hearts go out to them.”

Fianna Fail councillor Uruemu Adejinmi added that the whole community is in shock “that such a thing could happen so quickly”.

“It’s dreadful,” she said.

"Everybody has been so shocked that it’s going to take a while for people to deal with the consequences of it.

"This is a huge residential area with lots of families with children. For the families there who feel the area is secure and that it’s safe for their children, you know, it’s going to take a long while for them to get over this.

“I was actually in the area myself at around that time when it happened, Cllr Adejinmi added.

"It’s just so tragic and my heart goes out to the family and everybody who has been affected It must be so devastating to try and cope with and make sense of it all."

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