As tragic two-year-old Limerick toddler Robert Kelly was ‘waked’ last night, one elderly woman who came to pay her respects and sympathise with his grieving family, remarked: “What has the world come to at all.”
Robert died suddenly last Saturday from a viral infection.
Since the sad loss, the Kelly family not only had to cope with much grief but also the poisonous social media comments posted by nameless people.
Even in death, the tragic infant was being cruelly attacked before he will be finally laid to rest today in his little white coffin.
Robert was born with a family name linked to crime in Limerick over decades.
Last night, his grand-uncle Anthony Kelly, a self- confessed reformed crime boss, pleaded: “To those people who have said things about our family on Facebook, all I say, is leave us alone today so we can lay our lovely little boy to rest in peace alongside his great grandmother.”
Anthony Kelly recently featured on a TV3 series Breaking Crime with Donal MacIntyre in which he told how he had turned from crime to help vulnerable youngsters in Southill to stay clear of crime.
Little Robert’s final resting place will also be near his granduncle, Mikey ‘Hard Man’ Kelly who was one Limerick’s most feared criminal but who went on to become an elected alderman on Limerick City Council.
Hundreds of people last night gathered outside a Kelly family home in Southill to console the tot’s adoring father, Robert, aged 21.
This morning, his remains will be brought to the parish church in Southill for Mass of the Angels.
There has been a dignified anger in Southill at the vitriolic comments posted on social medic since little Robert’s death last Saturday.
Anthony Kelly last night called on those involved to show respect to the child.
“Terrible and wild things have been said on the social media by a small minority. But the outpouring of sympathy from the fine people of Limerick has been fantastic and brilliant and the family will remember it for ever. Robert was a lovely, well-cared for and loved child.
“What has happened I would not wish it on my worst enemy, the things that have been said on the death of a lovely little boy. We all adored him. I am disgusted at what these people have said (on social media). I would think more of somebody if they they had something to say, to come up and say it to my face, or the family’s face. I would think more of them people, they are entitled to free speech.
“But when its being done anonymously, that’s awful. This was a a little child. He is here tonight in my house in O’Malley Park. Anyone looking at this little boy in his coffin will see how strong and well cared for he was. What has happened I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, this small minority and what they have said. A little boy has died from an illness.”
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