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Members of of the Garda forensic team arrive at the house where the body of eight year old Anthony Ward was discovered by the Gardai at his house in Harrison's Place in Charleville, Co Cork. Photo by: Dan Linehan

Woman arrested over mystery death of 8-year-old boy who suffocated in his own bed

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Members of of the Garda forensic team arrive at the house where the body of eight year old Anthony Ward was discovered by the Gardai at his house in Harrison's Place in Charleville, Co Cork. Photo by: Dan Linehan

Anthony Ward (8) was found dead in his bed on Monday morning, before the first day back to school. Forensics have shown that the boy from Charleville, County Cork, died from asphyxiation.

RTE has reported that a woman in her 40s has been arrested and being held at Mallow Garda Station.

Earlier reports had stated that police were waiting to question Anthony’s mother, Diane Ward (43), after she was released from Cork University Hospital. She was admitted having been “found in a distressed state” beside her son’s body.

The post-mortem examination was carried out at Cork University 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 child’s system.

It is thought that Anthony died on Sunday night. The police reported that when they arrived at the scene his school clothes were freshly pressed by his side and his school bag ready in the hallway.

The child’s father, Mark Ryan, described his child’s death as “terrible, (just) terrible.”

The family home, at Harrison Place, Charleville, remains a crime scene, under investigation by the police.

Ireland’s Health Service Executive (HSE) had been involved with the family for some time.

On Tuesday tributes were paid to the young boy. Carmel Walmsley, the principal of his school, Shandrum National School in Newtownshandrum, told BreakingNews.ie that he was lovely, kind and friendly. His friends at school will also be offered psychological support.

Walmsley said, “Our sympathy and thoughts are with Anthony’s family and friends.

“Anthony was a lovely boy, kind and friendly, and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”

A neighbor told the Limerick Leader that the child was “a typical young fellow.”

“He was a lovely little character, he really was. It’s a shocking, shocking turn of events.”

The neighbor described his mother as “doting” and “as nice a girl that ever walked out there."

Here’s the Irish Examiner’s initial report on the death of Anthony Ward:

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