Jack Wyer, aged 11, was struck by a car shortly after 9am at Ballykilmurray as he crossed the Tullamore to Rahan road.
The fourth-class student at Ballinamere National School was rushed to the Midland Regional Hospital at Tullamore where he was pronounced dead.
Principal Larry Fleming described the young pupil as a “hugely popular child” who had a great sense of empathy and was particularly kind to younger children or those with disabilities.
Mr Fleming said Jack was a gifted sportsman and “one of the most exciting prospects we had [in] hurling for years”.
The avid Manchester United fan was known locally for his sporting prowess, be it in gaelic football, hurling or soccer.
Mr Fleming said “the entire school community here, and the entire community generally is shocked… Our thoughts and prayers are with the child’s parents and wider family.”
It is understood Jack was crossing the road to his grandparents’ house when the accident occurred. Some members of staff and students came upon the scene while travelling to school.
The National Education Psychologist Service is working with the school to provide advice and assistance to staff and pupils.
Mr Fleming said a decision has been taken to open the school today in order to allow the students grieve and talk among themselves.
Jack’s mother, Ramona Lambe, and father Derek Wyer, separated some years ago. Mr Wyer, a truck driver, recently married and has a son who is only a few weeks old with his wife Ruth.
Ballinamere GAA Club has suspended all games over the weekend as a mark of respect.
The Wyer family, who have lived in Ballinamere for generations, are heavily involved in GAA and news of the tragedy was met with “shock and sadness and numbness” yesterday.
Jack will be buried on Saturday in Clonminch Cemetery, Tullamore, after Mass at the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore at midday.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses who can contact them on 057 9327600.