A small community in the north-east of the country is in mourning after a 10-year-old boy tragically drowned.
The boy, who was named locally as Josh Hill, passed away after getting into difficulty in a hot tub at a property in Co Louth yesterday morning.
Gardaí, the local fire brigade and the ambulance service all responded to the emergency.
The sudden death is being treated as a tragic accident and a file will be prepared for the local coroner.
The alarm was raised at around 7am yesterday by the boy’s relatives at the property in Carlingford, Co Louth.
Paramedics rushed to the scene after being notified of the serious incident.
Josh was then taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. Despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead a short time later.
A post-mortem was due to take place last night at the hospital to determine the exact cause of his death.
Locals expressed their shock and sadness at the news and have shared their condolences with the family of Josh.
Fianna Fáil councillor Sean Kelly, who represents the Dundalk/Carlingford electoral area, said the tragedy was “the worst nightmare” for every family.
“Just absolutely devastating news and every family’s worst nightmare,” he said.
“Thoughts and prayers of the whole community of north Louth and the peninsula go out to the family concerned,” Mr Kelly told the Irish Independent.
Expressing her condolences to the family, who are understood to have moved to the village a number of years ago, councillor Erin McGreehan said: “We have a very strong community in Carlingford and the area and we will rally around them.”
She added: “[It is] incomprehensible and is so very sad and tragic.
“This started off as a beautiful day in a beautiful place. It could be any of us, any of our families, and our hearts are breaking for them.”
Another local man described the death of Josh as “absolutely tragic” and said the community was in shock.
“It is just shocking to think this has happened. My thoughts are with Josh’s family, including his parents Peter and Olivia, and their loved ones and relatives.
“Two families are now in mourning and it is just absolutely tragic,” the local man, who asked not to be named, said.
Josh is the third child to die in tragic circumstances in the county this summer.
Yesterday the funeral took place of Chantelle Keenan (7) who died after a car apparently rolled backwards in the driveway of a house in Drogheda.
Last month Jill Amante (14), a second-year student at Ballymakenny College, Drogheda, drowned in the sea at Seapoint, near Termonfeckin.