Co Down village numbed by grief after boy dies in accident involving a curtain
A grieving family was today facing the heartbreaking task of burying an eight-year-old boy who died in a freak accident involving a curtain.
Young Brendan Allister died on Sunday at his home on the Shore Road, Ballykinler, in a tragedy that has shocked the community in the Co Down village and beyond. It is understood the child was playing on a bed when he became entangled with a curtain and lost consciousness.
Brendan was discovered by his 13-year-old brother Tiarnan, who had been playing a games console in another room. As well as Tiarnan, Brendan is survived by his father David, mother Roisin and 10-year-old sister Tara.
Requiem Mass was due to be held at Sacred Heart Church, Dundrum, today followed by interment in St Joseph's, Ballykinler. A family friend, who did not wish to be named, said the community was devastated at the death.
The man said: "This was just a freak accident and is really heartbreaking.
"Brendan was a very outgoing, bubbly child and was always up to all sorts, a typical wee boy, full of life.
"This is just an awful tragedy. He was playing in a bedroom and was caught on a curtain and lost consciousness and died."
The family friend added: "Brendan was a Liverpool fanatic and was wearing his jersey that day, and in fact a new strip had been ordered for Christmas and arrived in the post after he had passed away."
Frantic efforts were made to revive the youngster, and because he lived close to the former Army barracks at Ballykinler, a helicopter was able to land there to airlift him to hospital in Belfast. Medics did all they could to save his life but he tragically passed away.
A PSNI spokesman confirmed they attended a report of the death of a child on Sunday and were not treating the death as suspicious.
Just last month a 21-month-old child died in Comber, Co Down, after reportedly becoming accidentally entangled in a blind cord.
"This was just a freak accident and is really heartbreaking. Brendan was a very outgoing, bubbly child and was always up to all sorts, a typical wee boy, full of life. This is just an awful tragedy. He was playing in a bedroom and was caught on a curtain and lost consciousness and died."
Friend of family of Brendan Allister