Tributes after girl (4) dies in tractor tragedy
The family of a four-year-old girl who died after falling from a tractor last night paid tribute to their "beautiful, chatty little girl".
Little Maria McInerney from Ballyegan in Birr, Co Offaly, died after the accident at her grandfather's house in Killeigh, Co Offaly, at tea-time on Friday.
She was playing on the tractor when she slipped and fell off, hitting her head. After the accident she was rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, but was pronounced dead when she arrived.
Last night, as Maria's family gathered her favourite dolls to put into her coffin for this morning's funeral, they spoke of their "little darling". Maria's mother Louise said the small child had "two of the most sparkling brown eyes you'd ever seen and a smile that could break anyone's heart".
She said she was "so beautiful and full of devilment".
Maria, the second youngest of six children, was due to start school in September.
Her great aunt Teresa Dunne said that the whole family was distraught.
"The family are devastated. They are just going on adrenaline. It's a terrible, sad occasion. It should never happen to anyone. Dad is in bits, just so shocked."