GARDAI investigating the death of eight-year-old Anthony Ward in Charleville yesterday have arrested a woman as part of their inquiries.
The woman, who is aged in her forties, was arrested this evening and is being questioned at Mallow Garda Station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act. She can be detained for up to 24 hours.
Meanwhile, funeral arrangements have been announced for Anthony Ward, who was due to return to school on Monday.
Huge crowds are expected to pay their respects at Hawe’s Funeral Home, Charleville on Wednesday from 2pm with removal at 5pm to Holy Cross Church
Requiem Mass on Thursday at 2.30pm followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.
The family have asked for no flowers and donations in lieu to Charleville Tae Kwon Do Club or Cork Mental Health.
A post mortem examination was completed earlier today. Results indicated he died of asphyxia.
Anthony was found dead at his home at Harrison’s Place in Charleville at around 9.30am yesterday morning. A family member had earlier raised the alarm and after a GP had pronounced him dead at the scene gardai were called.
The boy’s mother, Diane Ward, 42, was in a highly distressed state and was taken to Cork University Hospital.
Gardai said they were treating it as a “tragic incident” and have been given additional time to conduct a technical examination at the home.
Following the post mortem it is understood gardai are now considering their next steps in the investigation.
In a statement last night the HSE 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.”
It is understood that gardai had expressed concerns to the HSE over a year ago.
One neighbour said Anthony was a typical young fellow.
“He was a lovely little character, he really was. It’s a shocking, shocking turn of events,” he said.
The boy’s mother, he described as “a doting mother on that lad” and “as nice a girl that ever walked out there”.
Anthony was due to return to school in Newtownshandrum on Monday morning after the summer holidays.
Carmel Walmsley, principal 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,” said Ms Walmsley.
The school is being advised by a psychologist and other agencies to give as much support as possible to Anthony’s friends.
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