LATEST: The 11-year old boy was found dead in a house in Limerick city last night has been named locally as Brooklyn Colbert.
He was found by gardaí in a house off the Shanabooley Road in Ballynanty on Sunday night. He had been fatally assaulted.
A man who was known to the boy presented himself at Henry Street Garda Station shortly afterwards. The 26-year old man is still being questioned by detectives in connection with the boy’s death.
Local sources said a man was observed on Sunday evening, walking with the boy as they made their way to a house in Ballynanty.
Once gardaí were alerted to the tragedy, officers raced to the house, where they discovered the boy’s body.
Sources said he had sustained “multiple injuries”.
The Garda Technical Bureau travelled from Dublin to the Limerick and carried out a forensic examination of the house.
Detectives were conducting house-to-house inquiries in the local community, as they tried to piece together the boy’s last known movements.
Mother-of-two, Chelsea Smyth, who lives close to the scene, said: “I know the families [involved] and it’s hurtful to hear of the loss. We are all very shocked, especially in this area, things like this don’t normally happen here.” She described the deceased as “a lovely little boy”.
“Him and his mam, it was just the two of them. He was the apple of her eye...It’s very sad and very shocking,” she added.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Sharon Benson said: “When I heard the news last night my stomach sank. It’s a young child, and it’s absolutely devastating.”
Another local woman living nearby said it was hard to describe the depth of sadness felt it the area.
“It is just shocking and devastating that he is so young. It’s a terrible thing that’s happened, so I don't even know how to put it into words.”
John Costelloe, a local father of four, and a Sinn Féin councillor, said his “thoughts and prayers” were with the boy’s family.
“I can’t believe it, an 11-year-old boy taken from his family and his community. It’s absolutely horrendous. People are just numb around here. It’s just beyond words, really.”
The boy’s father is a well-known soccer player who had spells with a number of League of Ireland clubs.
The boy’s devastated mother was being supported by friends and family as well as a Garda Liaison Officer.
Reliable sources said the boy was his mother’s only child.
“He was her whole life...She is obviously, absolutely heartbroken. We just can’t believe this has happened,” they added.
A post mortem is being carried out this evening by assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster, at University Hospital Limerick.
Gardaí appealing for information said: “Any person who was in the vicinity of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty or in the Moyross area between 4pm-7pm (Sunday), and who saw anything suspicious or to any person who may have seen anything suspicious or to any person who may have information in relation to this investigation is asked to contact the incident room at Mayorstone Park Garda Station on 061-456989, the Garda Confidential Line 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station.”
The Garda Technical Bureau has arrived at a house in Limerick where a boy was found dead last night. The garda forensic unit travelled from Dublin this morning and will conduct a detailed examination of the house.
Gardaí are holding an internal conference this morning to decide on how their investigation will proceed.
The body of the boy, believed to be 11-years-old, remains at the scene at Ballynanty.
The state pathologist is due to arrive at the property later today to carry out a preliminary examination of the body.
A post mortem will take place later at University Hospital Limerick.
A 27-year old man was arrested by gardaí in connection with the boy’s death.
The man is still being questioned.
Gardaí said in a statement last night that they are investigating all of the circumstances of his death.
Many locals said today they were “too shocked” and “traumatised” to speak about the tragedy.
Sinn Féin councillor John Costelloe said that the community has been left in shock.
“I went to the scene this morning and spoke to a lot of the residents and they cannot believe what has happened,” he said.
“There is a lot of numbness and devastation in the area.
“I have four kids myself and the love of a child is so special. To lose a child of that age, so young, is just incomprehensible. I am in shock. People can’t talk about it.
“At age 11 your whole life is an adventure and what has happened is awful.
Sinn Féin Limerick TD Maurice Quinlivan, who grew up around the corner from the scene, said there is a deep sense of shock.
“People are utterly in disbelief. It’s an incredibly sad thing to happen,” he added.
“The community is very strong and they will rally around the family over these difficult days and months ahead.”
Sources have confirmed that the man and boy are known to each other.
Gardaí have appealed for witnesses to come forward.
In a statement, gardaí said: "Any person who was in the vicinity of Shanabooley Road, Ballynanty or in the Moyross area between 4pm and 7pm last night and who saw anything suspicious or to any person who may have information in relation to this investigation is asked to contact the incident room at Mayorstone Park Garda Station on 061-456989, the Garda Confidential Line 1800- 666 -111 or any garda station."
They said that a Garda liaison officer has been appointed and investigations are ongoing.
- Digital Desk staff
A man in his late 20s has been arrested after the body of a boy was found in Limerick city.
Gardaí said the boy's body was discovered at a house in the Ballynanty area of the county, shortly after 7pm.
The 11 year-old was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.
Gardaí said that they are investigating all of the circumstances of his death.
A man in his late 20s was arrested by investigating gardaí, following the discovery.
He is currently detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Henry Street Garda Station.
The scene is preserved for a forensic and technical examination and the services of both the Office of the State Pathologist and Garda Technical Bureau have been requested.
The investigation is ongoing.