Tim Ross (11) is killed cycling to school for his second day
A young boy was killed in a road collision while cycling to school for only the second time.
Tim Ross (11) was making his way from his Westmeath home in Moate towards nearby Tubber National School when he was hit by a car just after 9am.
"It is an awful tragedy. It was only his second time cycling to school. Our hearts go out to the whole family," said one local woman.
Local publican Paul Lawless said news of Tim's death had spread early yesterday morning.
He said: "It's devastating. They are a lovely family. Everyone is just shocked."
Tim had been crossing the old main Dublin to Galway Road at Marshbrook to get to the side road that would have brought him to his school when the crash happened.
It is understood he was killed instantly.
Tim's father Richard and mother Katharine are both from Moate. Richard works with the Irish Wheelchair Association and as a farmer, while Katharine works with air traffic control in Shannon Airport, according to neighbours.
School staff were trying to come to terms with how to break the news to classmates.
Principal Anne Marie Minnock said that it was a tragedy for all the families in the school and the community.
"We are deeply saddened by Tim's tragic death. Our sympathies and thought are with his, parents, family and friends.
"Tim was full of life and very sporty. We have implemented our critical incident management plan," she said.
"The National Educational Psychological Services have provided psychologists on site to help to support and advise staff," Ms Minnock added.
Tim had two younger sisters, and had only started back in fifth class in his school on Wednesday.
The Ross family have historic connections to Moate, originally coming from Ross's Lane in the town.
"You'd see Tim cycling around here. It's a quiet road and he's known it all his life. I'm very saddened by what happened," said one neighbour.