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“heart of gold” Tributes paid to tragic four-year-old Charlie McDonagh killed in Longford road accident

Relatives of the young boy’s parents Charlie and Pearl, who also have two younger children, are being cared for by close family and relatives

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Charlie McDonagh (4) who was killed in Longford road accident

Charlie McDonagh (4) who was killed in Longford road accident

Tributes to child killed in road accident in Longford housing estate

Tributes to child killed in road accident in Longford housing estate

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Charlie McDonagh (4) who was killed in Longford road accident

Tributes have been paid to a four year old boy with a “heart of gold” who was tragically killed in a road traffic accident in a Longford housing estate yesterday.

The little boy has been named locally as Charlie McDonagh. He died shortly after 2pm in the Palace Crescent area of Ardnacassa.

Relatives of the young boy’s parents Charlie and Pearl, who also have two younger children, are being cared for by close family and relatives.

A forensic examination took place after the incident 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 late toddler.

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Tributes to child killed in road accident in Longford housing estate

Tributes to child killed in road accident in Longford housing estate

Tributes to child killed in road accident in Longford housing estate

Outside at the shrine, little Charlie’s aunt Tilda Ward and her husband Michael, stared in disbelief at the spot where he had died.

“Charlie had breakfast with us yesterday morning. He was brand-new and full of life. It’s just so hard to think of what happened,” said Michael.

He said Charlie’s younger brother was just behind him as they crossed the road in front of a van, and it was with luck it wasn’t a double tragedy.

“I ran over after it happened. I shouted for someone to call an ambulance, but I knew when I saw him on the road there was no time for an ambulance. I picked him up off the road and myself and John’s son-in law drove him straight to the hospital,” said Michael.

“It might have only taken a few minutes to get there but it felt like a lifetime with him in my arms. But he was gone,” he added.

Charlie’s aunt said she would like to see a playground on the green for all the children.

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“It would be a safe place for them to play, away from the road, and if it was fenced off it would be better,” she said.

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

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

“He was real old fashioned, like a little man. He was a great character and we’re all heartbroken,” he explained.

“He was the oldest of three boys. They are fantastic neighbours and would help you out in any way they can. I don’t know if they’ll come back here now. I hope they do but I just don’t know”.

Mr Keenan also called for traffic measures to be put in place on Palace Crescent, similar to measures taken in other parts of the estate.

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 Cllr Gerry Warnock likewise expressed his condolences to the family of the young boy.

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