Friday, 14 Jun 2024

Annabel (3) who died in accident at home was the 'apple of her father's eye'

A little girl who died in a tragic accident in her family home has been described as “the apple of her father’s eye”.

Annabel Loughlin (3), from Delvin, Co Westmeath, who died on Friday, was the only daughter of talented hurler Enda Loughlin and his wife Eileen.

Speaking to the Irish Independent, family friend Senator Aidan Davitt said Annabel was “a pleasant little girl, always smiling”.

“Annabel was the apple of her father’s eye. Enda adores his children, he’s a great family man,” he said.

“Enda really doted over Annabel. The whole of Westmeath is shocked at such a loss.”

Mr Davitt said Eileen, a teacher, is a loving mother devoted to her family and children.

“They’re two very well respected people,” he said.

“Annabel’s death is a huge loss to the community.

“We are in serious grief and mourning. I have a child the same age as Annabel. She was a pleasant little girl, always smiling.

“Annabel was a little girl with a big smile every time I met her. It’s just devastating.”

In a death notice, the little girl was described as being a “devoted sister to brothers Senan and TJ and doting granddaughter to William and Eilish O’Driscoll and Peter and Pat Loughlin”.

Her funeral Mass takes place at the Church of the Assumption in Delvin at noon tomorrow.

Yesterday’s Leinster GAA Club SHC game between Mr Loughlin’s Clonkill and Ballyboden St Enda’s was postponed as a mark of respect for the bereaved family.

Former Westmeath hurler Fianna Fáil councillor John Shaw said: “I know Enda very well, I played hurling with him for years.

“This is devastating news for everyone round here. The loss of a small child is very hard – we’re in pure shock.

“Everyone in the community is in mourning. The family have a large number of relatives and friends in the area.

“We will rally round them but it’s a small comfort for them. It’s just very hard to put into words the amount of grief they’re going through at the moment.”

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