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'It is just tragic': Larne community in shock after child killed in 'domestic stabbing incident'

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Police at the scene of a major incident in Bankhall Road, Larne (Niall Carson/PA)

Police at the scene of a major incident in Bankhall Road, Larne (Niall Carson/PA)

Police at the scene of a major incident in Bankhall Road, Larne (Niall Carson/PA)

A quiet country lane overlooking a picturesque lough in East Antrim was the scene of a terrible tragedy on Monday morning.

Police have confirmed that one child has died and another is fighting for its life in hospital after a horrific incident at the farmhouse on Bankhall Road in Magheramorne, which is around a five minute drive from the village of Ballycarry.

The mother of both children is also in hospital receiving treatment for her injuries.

Neighbours reported hearing two helicopters, understood to be the charity air ambulance, landing at a field beside the farm at around 10am on Monday morning before police officers sealed the scene shortly after.

A large scale police presence remained at the scene all day as forensic officers were seen going in and out of the family home.

Police struggled to deal with the amount of media interest, with cars strewn all along the lane.

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Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Neighbours were shocked to hear of the tragedy that had unfolded on Monday morning, with many keen not to give their names to journalists reporting on the incident.

However, one neighbour told the Belfast Telegraph that when he returned from dropping his granddaughter off at nursery he was confronted by the air ambulance landing.

"I saw the chopper landing, and then a second one arriving. I think it was around 10am and then police came and blocked the road," he said.

"It is just tragic, that young children are involved. It is just such a sad thing, our house is in shock."

Tommy Kernohan, who lives around 200 metres down the road from the farmhouse which is now the scene of a potential crime, said the family had recently moved in over the past year and had been renting the house from the previous people who lived there.

It is understood the couple who own the house have moved away from Northern Ireland and have been renting out the home and farm.

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Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

Emergency services at the scene of an incident in the Bankhall Road area of Larne on Monday 2nd March 2020 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph)

It is just tragic, that young children are involved. It is just such a sad thing, our house is in shock Neighbour

One woman, who lived close to the farm house, said the family "keep themselves to themselves", but described seeing two "beautiful children" walking up and down the lane.

"You don't expect something like this to happen in a quiet area like this. You normally only read this in the papers," she said.

She described the couple as "very quiet" and said they did not interact with neighbours very much.

One person told the Belfast Telegraph the mother of the family is a "lovely person".

"It is just shocking news, You just wouldn't believe it," she added.

The mother is thought to be a nurse who works at a local hospital.

Neighbours expressed hope that the second child, understood to be around 18 months old, will recover from their injuries.

Alliance councillor Danny Donnelly said: "It's becoming clear that a very serious incident has taken place in Magheramorne.

"My thoughts are with the families involved. I'm grateful to our emergency services who deal with such distressing cases in a very professional manner."

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