A four-year-old girl died on Friday following an incident at a caravan park in Enniscrone and the tragedy has left Ballina and the seaside resort reeling.
Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene on Friday afternoon after the young girl, from Ballina, had been struck by a vehicle.
An air corps helicopter also rushed to the area.
The girl was subsequently rushed to University Hospital Sligo, but she died a short time later.
The well-known and highly regarded family have close connections to the Stephenites and there is a dark cloud over the town.
The Ballina Stephenites chairman and former senior manager John Healy, who described the tragedy as ‘unbearable’, offered the club’s deepest sympathies.
As a mark of respect all Ballina Stephenites fixtures, including an under-11s blitz, were cancelled this weekend.
Mr Healy said: “At Ballina Stephenites we made the call on Friday evening very soon after news of the tragedy came through that we would cancel the 50th year celebrations [of Bord na nÓg] that were supposed to happen in the club [on Saturday].
“It was the only proper and respectful thing to do to cancel all club activities and there was teams from all over Connacht coming to the tournament but we notified them on Friday night.
“We didn’t want a tournament going on at this time and [so close to the family].
“The Stephenites is more or less closed for the weekend.
“On behalf of the Stephenites as well I’d like to express our sincerest sympathies to the families on this absolutely tragic event and this terrible time in their lives.
“It’s unbearable and numbing, I’m a father myself with three young children.”
Meanwhile, local Independent Councillor Joe Queenan said: “We’re very upset and it looks to have been a freak accident and it’s devastating on the family who were here on holiday and here to enjoy their stay in Enniscrone and for this to happen.
“And for everyone involved in the whole incident, it’s just devastating and our hearts go out to everybody.
“Enniscrone was noticeably quiet [on Friday] evening and there was very few out.
“It’s a major shock, the family are regular visitors here and they are well-known in this area and we are acutely sorry for everybody.”
Cllr Queenan said Enniscrone was renowned for many years as an idyllic and peaceful place for a family day out or holiday and people are deeply shocked.
“The caravan park has been at the centre of that and so many people have caravans in the wider area and so many generations have come to the caravan park.
“It has always been a very happy location for so many people and it’s really tragic on everybody and we’re very sad and low at the moment.
“I’d also like to pay tribute to the emergency services for their help at this very difficult scene, they came very quickly, the Gardaí, the helicopter, the ambulance service and the local doctor, the fire services, the council, all seemed to be here very quickly.”
A Garda spokesman said: “Gardaí and emergency services attended the scene of an incident in Enniscrone, Co. Sligo this afternoon, Friday, 5th August 2022.
“A four year old child was injured during the incident. She was taken to University Hospital Sligo where she has since passed away.
“A family liaison officer has been appointed to support the family at this time.”