Belfast Telegraph

Tributes to wee Donnacadh Maguire (6) killed playing outside Derry home

By Donna Deeney

Neighbours have described their shock at the death of a little boy who was killed after apparently being struck by a vehicle in a Londonderry street.

Six-year-old Donnacadh Maguire had been playing in Tyrconnell Street where he lived, just moments before the suspected collision.

A man has been arrested and taken in to police custody.

Neighbours who heard a collision at around 10.30am yesterday ran out and immediately began first aid while his distraught mother looked on helplessly.

Ambulance control staff guided the neighbours over the phone as they worked on the child until the ambulance arrived. But despite their best efforts, little Donnacadh passed away at Altnagelvin hospital.

The exact circumstances of how the terrible tragedy unfolded are still under investigation and police are appealing for witnesses.

Declan McBride, who lives two doors away from the Maguire family, saw little Donnacadh playing and was among those who ran to his aid.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McBride said: "I was getting ready to go and play football and I saw the wee lad.

"He was playing in the middle of the street. He was doing press-ups, and then he was doing karate kicks.

"I stood at the window looking down at him and wondering what was going on inside his wee head. He looked up at me and I gave him the thumbs-up and he did the same back to me.

"I went to the back of the house and then I heard a scream.

"I ran outside and the wee boy was lying on the road.

"Other neighbours had ran out and they were working on him.

"It's such a tragedy, he looked so happy, and the next thing he is gone."

Donnacadh and his family had only recently moved to Derry from Scotland, but his bright personality meant he had already made many friends, including Mr McBride's daughter.

He continued: "He was a lovely wee boy, he played with my daughter, who is a year older.

"There are quite a few young children in this street, which makes this all the more shocking.

"They are all sitting here now wondering what is going on, but how can you explain to your daughter that her wee friend won't be coming back to the street?

"We kept our daughter inside while everything was happening, because we didn't want her to see her wee friend lying in the middle of the road like that.

"Everyone here has been stunned by this. I have lived here all my life and I have never witnessed anything like it, although cars do drive up and down this street too fast."

Another neighbour, who did not want to be identified, said he too had seen Donnacadh playing on the street which is off the Lone Moor Road.

He said: "I was heading off to work and saw Donnacadh out in the street playing with his wee sword.

"He was obviously waiting on his wee friends to come out to play with him. He was there playing away as a happy as anything, dressed in his wee shorts and T-shirt. He saw me getting into my car and he went over to the footpath and waved to me.

"That was the last time I saw him; 20 minutes later I got the call to say he had been knocked down and killed.

"I just can't believe how a day can change so horribly, so quickly, it is terrible."

PSNI Inspector O'Brien said: "While it is possible that Donnacadh's injuries were sustained as the result of a collision with a vehicle, we are working to establish exactly what happened and we are keen to speak to witnesses.

"I would ask anyone who was on Tyrconnell Street between 10am and 10.30am to please get in touch with officers at Strand Road or the Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101, quoting reference number 390 of 11/07/17."

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