The River Poddle gurgles gently at the entrance of the apartment complex where the life of a toddler was extinguished at the point of a blade.
Against the soothing sound, broken only by a passing car, forensic officers, clad in distinctive white overalls, moved in their trademark deliberate fashion inside the building.
The Garda Technical Bureau officers stepped in and out of a one-bed apartment, where the remains of the three-year-old boy lay.
Their movements were visible through the windows along the first floor of the Riverside apartments in Kimmage, south Dublin.
Exiting the apartment, they regularly conversed with their detective colleagues on the nearby landing.
Sometime on Monday, inside the neat, pleasant, apartment block, the young boy was stabbed — it is thought multiple times — and suffered fatal injuries.
Shortly afterwards, his mother, Maha Al Adheem, aged 42 and thought to be from Iran, sustained serious, but not fatal, knife wounds.
The mother, a doctor, rang 999 and sought medical help.
The narrow River Poddle runs down Poddle Park, under the entrance into the complex and down one side of the building, sheltered on the apartment side by overhanging trees.
The setting is peaceful and leafy and, even on an overcast morning, the Riverside apartments look like a nice place to live.
The complex, just three floors high, has prominent CCTV at the main entrance and on the perimeters, reinforcing an overall feeling of security.
At the small gated entrance, neighbours left tributes and tokens of their sympathies since
late on Monday.
An orange teddy with a purple and yellow flower had been carefully placed overnight in the corner against a low concrete wall.
Beside it was a round candle holder and above, on the top of the wall, there was a maroon lantern with a white candle aflame inside.
On the main gate, a soft toy, this one a giraffe, was fastened, along with a note, protected by a plastic sheet with the word ‘Why’ with five question marks and, underneath, ‘RIP’.
Some residents of the complex said they didn’t know Ms Adheem, or else they declined to comment.
Others said they knew the woman and her son to see, with one saying he thought she was from Iraq.
Two neighbours approached from a house on Poddle Park, one clutching a colourful bouquet of flowers.
“We were talking about it last night,” said Greg Byrne. “You don’t think it’s going to happen so close to home, and, it’s just shocking.
“We’re just neighbours and it’s terrible, sad news, so we wanted to show some solidarity I suppose. We have no idea who it is.”
His friend, Reddy Thumma, said they were watching the TV on Monday and saw the news.
“We walked down here and there were guards and everything and we said we’d come back tomorrow and leave some flowers,” he said.
Just before 12am, an ambulance brought the child’s body away for a full autopsy.
Yesterday, the tributes continued to come: More flowers, a small teddy, and a little green car, left by a child.
One of the bouquets read: “Rest in Paradise little man. You got your wings too soon.”
Another read: “Rest in Peace poor child. Fly with the angels.”
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