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Neighbours speak of shock at Ardoyne tragedy

Flowers and teddy bears left outside the house where two children were stabbed, one fatally, in Brompton Park in Ardoyne, north Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann

TEDDY bears and flowers were left outside a house in north Belfast where a two-month-old baby boy was stabbed to death and a young girl was seriously injured.

Neighbours have spoken of their deep shock since news broke of the tragic events at the house in Brompton Park in Ardoyne on Tuesday night.

Well-wishers offered prayers for Kayla, aged two-and-a-half, who remained critically ill in hospital yesterday.

Several neighbours spoke of how they heard police sirens after 8pm on Tuesday.

They saw officers carrying baby Liam and Kayla out of the house separately, along with a blood-stained blanket.

It is understood officers managed to revive Kayla but Liam was pronounced dead at the scene.

One woman said when she saw police she ran out to check on her young daughter, who was playing at a friend's house.

"I thought a child had been knocked down," she said. "My sister is a nurse and ran out to see if she could help."

She said officers asked people in the narrow street to move their cars to allow ambulances to get through.

"I haven't been able to stop thinking about it," she said.

"My daughter saw it all. She was asking about it and I had to say that the baby had fallen down the stairs.

"I can't believe something like this happening in our quiet street. It's like something you'd see in America."

A neighbour who lived nearby said she frequently spoke to the children's mother and often spotted the family going to the shops.

"I would have said she was a lovely wee woman," she said.

"She's a toatie (small) wee thing.

"Whenever she had the baby I went over to her to see how she was because she was in and out of hospital in a day.

"I last saw her on Tuesday afternoon when she went out and looked at the lightning storm," she said.

The neighbour said the woman's young daughter is a bubbly child who lights up the street and loves playing with her friends.

"She's a lovely wee thing. She blows kisses and goes 'hiya' whenever she sees you," she said.

"You would always have seen her out playing. They had a pool that she played in. The toys are all there at the front (of the house)."

The woman said the street was extremely close-knit and neighbours tried to look out for each other, particularly during the pandemic.

Another neighbour added: "You can't imagine something like that happening in a street like this.

"You never know what's going on behind closed doors."

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