A six-year-old boy has died after drowning in a stream in Ballina, in County Mayo, on Sunday afternoon.

Gardaí (Irish police) said the boy went missing from his home, near the town of Ballina, at around 1 pm, and was located shortly afterward in a stream near the River Moy. 

Residents and gardaí located the boy in the stream after a short search of the local area.

The boy was treated at the scene by some Gardaí before being rushed to hospital at Mayo University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Superintendent Joe Doherty, head of the Ballina Garda District, described the incident as a "tragic accident" and offered his condolences to the family and the local community. 

He thanked the community members and emergency services who helped locate the boy's body and said they deserved immense praise. 

The Gardaí have notified the local coroner and a post-mortem will be performed in the coming days.  The Gardaí are treating the incident as an accident. 

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Mark Duffy, a local Mayo councilor, said that the Ballina community was in shock following Sunday's tragic discovery. 

He offered his condolences to the bereaved family and paid tribute to the young boy. 

Duffy said that this was already a difficult time for families due to the COVID-19 crisis. 

“This is such a tragedy," he told the Irish Mirror. 

“It’s a difficult time for the community and for our society as a whole.

“There’s a big sense of shock still within the community and we’re at a loss for words. It’s still very raw.”

Duffy added: “This is no news that any family wants to hear.

“Our minds and sympathies are with the family.”

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