A post-mortem examination will be carried out today on the body of an eight-year-old boy found dead in his bed.
Health chiefs have launched a probe in to its involvement with the family of Anthony Ward, before his body was discovered yesterday morning.
Gardaí are also investigating the suspicious death of the schoolboy, which detectives are treating as a “tragic incident”.
Anthony’s mother, 43-year-old Diane Ward, was found in a distressed state by his side and taken to Cork University Hospital for medical treatment. It is believed he was suffocated.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) South said: “As with all serious incidents such as this the HSE has committed to a comprehensive review of the involvement of HSE services with the family.”
The alarm was raised when a relative discovered the pair son in the bedroom of the family home in Harrison Place, Charleville, Co Cork.
Anthony’s grief-stricken father, farmer Mark Ryan, sat on a wall close by the home forensic officers as assistant state pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster examined the scene.
A 24 hour freephone helpline number – 1800 201 890 – has been opened to give support, assistance and counseling to those affected by the incident.
Teachers and students a Newtownshandrum National School – where Anthony was due to go back to yesterday morning – are also expected to be given extra support to deal with the tragedy, which has rocked the close-knit community.
Ms Ward and her only child lived next to her mother Sheila and brothers Alan and Billy.
Neighbour Liam Shine described Ms Ward as a lovely neighbour and her son as a normal eight-year-old who was full of energy.
Mr Shine said: “Anthony would always be out playing in the garden or riding his bike. He was a handsome little lad with short brown hair coming down the sides.
“He was always very well presented. You could tell he was well looked after.”
Gardaí are waiting to question Anthony Ward’s mother after the eight-year-old found dead in his bed yesterday morning.
The schoolboy died from asphyxiation, tests have shown today.
Diane Ward, 43, remains in the care of Cork University Hospital after being found in a distressed state by her son’s side in the bedroom of the family home in Harrison Place, Charleville, Co Cork.
Gardaí are consulting with medical staff as to whether she is fit to be interviewed by detectives.
The post-mortem examination was carried out at the same hospital by assistant State pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster.
Toxicology tests on blood samples were also taken to establish if any drugs or tablets were in the Anthony’s system prior to his death.
The property remains a crime scene after detectives secured a court order for more time to examine it.
Tributes have been paid to the youngster, who was described as a lovely, kind and friendly boy by the principal of the school he was due to go back to yesterday.
Psychological support will be offered to his young friends, as health chiefs review their involvement with the family prior to the “tragic incident”.
Carmel Walmsley, principal of Shandrum National School in Newtownshandrum, said the board of management, staff and pupils are deeply saddened at the death of Anthony.
“Our sympathy and thoughts are with Anthony’s family and friends,” she said.
“Anthony was a lovely boy, kind and friendly, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
It is understood the Health Service Executive (HSE) South had been involved with the family for some time and has committed to a comprehensive review of the involvement of its services with the family.
A helpline number – 1800 201 890 – has been opened to give support, assistance and counselling to those in the locality affected by the incident.
Elsewhere, Ms Walmsley said the focus of the school staff at this time is to support the pupils in the school who are trying to come to terms with the loss of a young friend.
“We are receiving support in this work from the National Education Psychological Service (NEPS) in the context of our Critical Incident Management Policy,” she added.
“The school will be advised by the psychologist and other agencies and will offer parents and pupils as much support as we can.
“To allow the staff to focus on the children we appeal for privacy and will make no further comment at this time.”