Gardaí are treating the death of a three-year-old boy at his home in Limerick on Friday as a tragic accident.
The boy, named locally as Padraig Cunningham, was fatally injured when he was struck by a vehicle at Ballyduhig in west Limerick at around 10.30am.
Emergency services attended the scene and treated the boy, however, he was later pronounced dead at University Hospital Limerick.
A post-mortem will be carried out and the matter will be referred to the office of the Limerick Coroner for an inquest.
Local non-party councillor Jerome Scanlan, who is a family friend, said the community would do its best to support the boy’s heartbroken parents, Robert and Denise Cunningham.
"We’re all trying to come to terms with the tragic news in Ballyduhig today, it’s just dreadful, a frightening thing to happen," Mr Scanlan said.
"My heart goes out to the family, and it is just unbelievable that something like this could happen to a three and half year old child.
"It’s just a dreadful scenario. It’s dreadful for his mother and his father and his three sisters that are aged a few years older than him - the eldest is 12," he added.
"The family are pillars of the community in the Broadford-Raheenagh-Ballyduhig area. I know them very well - he was called after his grandad Patsy, who is a very nice gentleman in his 80s."
Local Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins also passed on his sympathies to the family, saying the area had been plunged into a deep sadness.
"It’s an awful tragedy for the family involved," Mr Collins said.
"I have been talking to a number of people in the local community and they are utterly shocked and devastated by what has happened," he added.
Gardaí confirmed a liaison officer has been appointed to support the family, adding that no further information is being made available at this time.