Flowers left as Gardai preserve the scene at the Riverside apartment at Poddle Park in Kimmage where the young child was stabbed to death. Pic Steve Humphreys
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A murder investigation has been launched after a three-year-old boy was found stabbed to death in an apartment in south Dublin.
The toddler is understood to have been stabbed a number of times, including in the chest, at the Riverside apartments, in Kimmage, Dublin 12.
Emergency services were alerted to the scene at around 7pm last night after receiving a number of 999 calls about a woman in a distressed state.
When paramedics arrived, they discovered the three-year-old dead in a room in the apartment.
The child’s mother, aged in her 40s, was also discovered with apparent knife wounds.
She was rushed to St James’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
It is understood the child and mother are of Middle Eastern descent.
Senior sources last night told the Irish Independent the child was stabbed in the upper-chest with a kitchen knife. Emergency services personnel had to break down the door in order to get immediate access to the apartment. When they entered, they discovered the child dead in the bedroom of the property. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
This morning, gardai remained at the scene awaiting the arrival of the pathologist and the garda technical bureau.
Two candles burned quietly at the entrance to the small Riverside apartment complex.
One small teddy bear was positioned beside them, and on the gate someone had left a small cuddly giraffe with the message ‘Why???? RIP’ pinned to it on a sheet of paper.
A resident of Riverside apartments who did not want to be named said he had met the mother in the apartment complex a few times, and that she told him she was a doctor from Iraq.
A teddy bear left at Riverside appartments, Poddle Park, Kimmage after the death of a boy (3). Photo: Tony Gavin
He also said the little boy always seemed happy.
“The police and fire brigade were here when I arrived at around seven o’clock, and I was thinking there was a fire,” he said.
The man said the woman has been living in Riverside for around two or three years.
“People are shocked. She would leave here in the car and the child was always with her. He was always happy, and talked,” he said.
A team from the garda technical bureau arrived shortly after 8.30am this morning to begin the grim task of carrying out a forensic examination of the scene.
A source said investigating detectives are following a definite line of inquiry.
Officers were at the hospital last night and were waiting to speak to the woman following her treatment.
“Emergency personnel were initially told that the child went into cardiac arrest, but when paramedics entered the property they discovered the infant deceased with stab wounds,” a senior source said.
A Garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí in Crumlin are investigating a homicide of an infant child.
“An adult female was also injured in the incident and has been taken to St James’s Hospital where her condition is described as serious.”
The spokesperson said the discovery was made when gardaí were called to an address in Poddle Park.
“The infant was pronounced dead at the scene,” the spokeswoman said.
Locals described hearing a distressed woman screaming in the apartment complex before emergency services arrived.
“I wouldn’t know the woman well, she only had one child as far as I know.
“It’s absolutely tragic, I’m not even sure of what happened yet,” one local woman said.
Flowers were last night placed outside the apartment where the young boy died.
Local Sinn Féin councillor Ray McHugh said his thoughts were with the young victim’s family.
Speaking at the scene, Mr McHugh said: “It’s an absolute tragedy.
“The residents around here are in total disbelief and shocked.
“My sympathies are with the young child’s family at this time.”
The injured woman was believed to work in a Dublin hospital.
A number of garda cars remained at the Riverside apartment complex beside Poddle Park last night while the scene was sealed off pending a forensic examination.
The State Pathologist was notified.
An incident room has been established at Crumlin garda station and investigating detectives are appealing for information.
Last night, Dr Umar al-Qadi, imam of the Blanchardstown mosque, said: “This is a tragedy which is extremely heart-breaking and my thoughts and prayers go out to all the family members and also the community which has been affected by it.
“A three-year-old innocent child has lost his life in a horrendous way.
“I pray for the child that he will be in peace.”