The death of a nine-year-old boy in a quarry in Co Donegal is a terrible tragedy, a parish priest said today.
Joseph McDevitt was killed when a load of crushed stone collapsed on top of him at a quarry near Annagry, West Donegal, at 6pm yesterday.
Local parish priest Fr Michael Herrity said it had shocked the local community.
"It is a terrible tragedy. I was with the family last night. He was the only son they had."
The nine-year-old had been on summer holidays and was accompanying his father who was making an oil delivery to the quarry.
He was close to a load of crushed stone which was due to be moved.
When it began to fall, the owner of the quarry ran to save him but was injured himself. He is being treated in Letterkenny General Hospital for broken bones.
The body of the young boy was taken to the same hospital, where a post mortem will be carried out later today.
Fr Herrity said neighbours had called round to support Joseph’s parents, Willie and Anne McDevitt, who also have three daughters.
“The community’s help and support and prayers is a tremendous help. I was with the family last night and all the neighbours were in, supporting them and making cups of tea for them. That’s a great solace to them and it lifts their mind,” he said.
The McDevitt family run an oil business and several garages in West Donegal.
Earlier this year, Joseph made his first communion with classmates from St Dabhagh’s National School in Annagry.
“He was so involved in the preparation for the sacrament,” said Fr Herrity.
The Health and Safety Authority and the Gardaí are investigating the cause of the accident.