‘This is every parent’s nightmare’ - local priest

Two-year-old Ronan McGavigan, who tragically died following a collision on the Lone Moor Road in Derry on Sunday.
Two-year-old Ronan McGavigan, who tragically died following a collision on the Lone Moor Road in Derry on Sunday.

The two-year-old boy who died following a traffic collision on Sunday was a “real character” who was “full of life”, a local priest has said.

Fr Eamon Graham from St Columba’s Church, Long Tower, was speaking after comforting Ronan McGavigan’s parents Laura and John last night.

“It was a very sad scene,” Fr Graham said. “This is every parent’s nightmare.

“I think it will take time for this to sink in.

“The local community, the people along the Lone Moor Road, are very good and very supportive and they are very appreciative of that.

“He was just out playing on a sunny morning. The family are not long back from holidays in Spain, and they were just talking about the happy memories they had and also the amount of good he brought to their lives.

“He was two and at that age children are starting to get their wee bit of independence and Ronan was very full of life and a real character.”

Fr Graham added: “I would urge everyone to keep them in their thoughts and prayers and just be as supportive as they can, not just now but in the days and weeks to come as this will be a long struggle for them.”

Little Ronan died after he was struck by a car on Lone Moor Road on Sunday afternoon.

The collision occurred at around 1.15pm and involved a silver coloured Citroen Picasso car.

The driver of the car has been spoken to by police and enquiries were today continuing.

The road remained closed for much of yesterday.

A post mortem is due to be carried out in Belfast today and funeral arrangements were this morning being finalised.

Local representatives have spoken of the shock in the community.

Independent Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Sean Carr said: “I want to express my condolences to the family and the wider family circle.

“The community is rallying around them at this sad time.”

Sinn Féin Councillor Patricia Logue meanwhile said: “I want to express my sympathy to the family and friends of this young boy.

“It is a tragic and very personal loss for them. They are in our thoughts and prayers at this time, as they are trying to come to terms with such dreadful news.”

PSNI Inspector David McIlwaine has appealed to anyone who witnessed the collision or who has any information which could assist police with their enquiries to contact Strand Road on 101.