Anthony Ward's classmates to receive counselling
on 04/09/2012 12:42:17
Anthony Ward was described as a lovely, kind and friendly boy by the principal of the school he was due to go back to yesterday.
A post-mortem examination is being carried out on the little boy's remains to determine the exact cause of death, while health chiefs review their involvement with the family prior to the "tragic incident".
Carmel Walmsley, principal of Shandrum National School in Newtownshandrum, said the board of management, staff and pupils are deeply saddened at the death of Anthony.
"Our sympathy and thoughts are with Anthony's family and friends," she said.
"Anthony was a lovely boy, kind and friendly, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him."
Anthony's mother Diane Ward, 43, remains in hospital after being found in a distressed state by her son's side in the bedroom of the family home in Harrison Place, Charleville, Co Cork, yesterday morning.
It is believed he was suffocated.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) South said: "As with all serious incidents such as this the HSE has committed to a comprehensive review of the involvement of HSE services with the family."
It has opened its 24-hour freephone helpline number - 1800 201 890 - to give support, assistance and counselling to those affected by the incident.
Elsewhere, Ms Walmsley said the focus of the school staff at this time is to support the pupils in the school who are trying to come to terms with the loss of a young friend.
"We are receiving support in this work from the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) in the context of our Critical Incident Management Policy," she added.
"The school will be advised by the psychologist and other agencies and will offer parents and pupils as much support as we can.
"To allow the staff to focus on the children we appeal for privacy and will make no further comment at this time."