THE PRELIMINARY results of a post mortem on the body of eight year-old Anthony Ward indicate that he died of asphyxia.
The post mortem was conducted this morning by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster.
He was found dead at his home at Harrisson’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.
They said they were treating it as a “tragic incident”. Garda have been given additional time to conduct a technical examination at the home.
The boy’s mother, Diane Ward, 42, was in a highly distressed state and was taken to Cork University Hospital.
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.