Hundreds of people attended a vigil on Sunday held in memory of a 12-year-old boy who died while driving a car that collided with a lorry last Friday.
Wiktor Chojecki from Newcastle West, Co Limerick died in the 2am impact at Rineroe, outside Adare village.
Wiktor, survived by his parents and sister, will be laid to rest on Thursday at Calvary Cemetery, Newcastle West, following funeral Mass at the local Church of the Immaculate Conception.
Dozens of coloured balloons were released into the sky from the 300-strong crowd at the Brighten Up The Sky for Wiktor Chojecki vigil held in the town square in Newcastle West.
Jennifer McGroarty, whose daughter was one of Wiktor’s classmates, said everyone in the town was “so sad”.
“My daughter would have been friends with Wiktor since the beginning of primary school, so we are all just absolutely shocked; we can’t believe it.
“I think it is nice that he has a good turnout here today… and you think if it can happen to his family then it can happen to any of us. They are such lovely people, nice, hard-working people, and that’s why we are all in such shock.
“Some people might not have known Wiktor, but again, the Polish community is a massive community here, so we all know someone who will know the family, and there is just a sadness, a heaviness among everyone, with a lump in our throats and in the pit of our stomach.”
Joe Aherne (76), from the nearby village of Athea, said he attended to “show solidarity with the family”.
“It’s a sad occasion, it could happen to anybody, unfortunately a young child has died, and I have children and grandchildren, so it hits the spot.
Eileen Little, whose daughter was also one of Wiktor’s classmates, said: “We are shocked, it’s so sad, I think everybody has the same sentiment really, and that’s why everyone has shown up today in support of Wiktor’s mam and dad and his sister and all his family and friends.”