The child was found in an “unresponsive” state, according to gardaí, after 1pm yesterday in the village of Dundrum in west Co Tipperary.
Gardaí confirmed that they attended the scene after a 999 call was made, as did other emergency service personnel, and a local GP.
The girl was airlifted from the nearby Kickham’s GAA field to University Hospital Limerick in a critical condition but pronounced dead later in the afternoon.
Distraught family mem-bers were last night being comforted by relatives, friends, and neighbours in west Tipperary.
It is understood the seven-month-old was the only child of a young couple who live in the Tipperary town area and are originally from the parish of Golden-Kilfeacle and Tipperary town. They are involved in local GAA and well-known throughout their communities.
It is reported that the father went to work at a local steelworks at about 8am in Dundrum and was due to drop his daughter off at creche but forgot to do so and the infant was left in the car.
He remembered that the little girl was in the car after 1pm but the child was unresponsive by the time he returned.
Temperatures were in the 20s on Thursday in Tipperary.
A garda spokesman described the incident as “a personal tragedy” and a “very sensitive” case. They have been liaising with family members since the incident unfolded.
“It’s an awful tragedy,” former Fine Gael TD Tom Hayes, who lives in the nearby village of Golden, said.
“It’s just so sad,” Fianna Fáil county councillor from Cashel, Roger Kennedy said. “The whole area is in shock.”
He described the people involved as “a popular, well-known family” who are very involved in the community. “There is total sadness here.”
Sinn Féin councillor Martin Browne said it was “the hottest day of the year so far” in the area, making conditions more difficult for the child in the car.
“They are a very nice, very respectable family and it’s just a complete tragedy,” he said. “I’m sure the whole community will rally around the family.”