Boy, 5, dies in north Belfast crash

Published Wednesday, 11 June 2014
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The five-year-old boy, who died following a crash in north Belfast, has been named.

Conor O'Neill was riding his bike in the Rosehead area of Ardoyne on Wednesday shortly before 9am when he was involved in a collision with a car.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, but died as a result of his injuries.

Kevin McAreavey, principal of Holy Cross Boys' Primary School, ran to the scene when he heard what had happened.

He told UTV that the entire school community is devastated and described the primary one pupil as "a very friendly, popular boy".

"He always demanded attention. Any time I went into the room it was 'Mr McAreavey, can I get a reward today'," he said.

"Our thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his young parents who are very part of Holy Cross Boys and were very much involved in their child's education.

"He was very much a pleasure to teach."

Conor was a great lad, a very lively, sociable young boy whose radiant smile indeed would have lit up a whole room.

Kevin McAreavey, Holy Cross Boys' PS Principal

The school has launched a critical incident procedure to try and plan how to break the news to Conor's fellow pupils and offer support.

Mr McAreavey added: "I know that I will set up an award in the memory of young Conor, because I think it is important, especially for his young brother who will have that sort of family feel whenever he is going to leave Holy Cross boy's at the end of primary seven."

SDLP North Belfast MLA Alban Maginness has expressed shock after hearing the news.

"This is a tragedy that will send shock and hurt throughout the community," he said.

"I want to offer my sincere sympathy to the family of the young child who will be going through a harrowing time.

"I have no doubt that the entire community will rally around them at this extremely difficult time."

Alliance Councillor Nuala McAllister has also expressed her condolences.

"I was deeply saddened to learn that such a young child had died in this tragic road accident. I would like to send my condolences to his family and friends.

"This will be an extremely difficult time for his family, school and the local community. However, I hope that the support measures put in place by his school will help his classmates deal with his death," she added.

"One death on the roads is one too many. We must do all that is possible to improve road safety. I would urge all road users to be vigilant of others, especially young children."

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds added: "It was with great sadness that I learned of this morning's tragic event, which has sent shockwaves through the entire community.

"My thoughts and prayers are with the family of the young boy at this very difficult time."

Gerry McCabe, Sinn Féin Councillor for Oldpark, said: "This community is shocked. Any road accident is tragic but given the age of this young boy it is even more so.

"The family is well known and respected in the area and this tragedy will be felt by many people throughout this community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this young boy at this time."

Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
62 Comments
clare in belfast wrote (79 days ago):
Thoughta are with Conors family.Absolutley heatbreaking.Gaz in the Shankill,what a beautiful thing to say and you are so right. xx
kieran in ardoyne wrote (80 days ago):
R.I.P. CONOR GOD BLESS YOU ALL
annie in newtownabbey wrote (80 days ago):
This is terrible news so so sad ?? god love wee conors mum dad, siblings and entire family. may god give u all the strengh to get threw this unbearable time god bless u all. much love and hugs xxx
Ryan in An Dun wrote (81 days ago):
Thoughts and prayers with the family and friends. It's always hard to loose a family member but a five year old child. Heartbreaking.
alison in belfast wrote (81 days ago):
Terribly sad news. Thoughts with the family.
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