The Minister for Education has described the six-year-old boy who died following an incident in Co Waterford as a “much-loved and treasured” member of the school community.
Norma Foley extended her sympathy to the family of Matthew Healy, saying he will be greatly missed by the pupils and staff at Faithlegg National School.
The young boy’s body was found in a car near a seaside cove in the Rathmoylan area in the early hours of Friday morning, shortly after midnight.
A woman in her 30s was arrested near the scene in Dunmore East and is being detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at a police station in Co Waterford.
In a statement, Ms Foley said: “I’d like to extend my very sincere sympathy to the family of Matthew Healy and the wider community of Waterford, and of course the school community.
“I know Matthew was a much-loved and treasured member of the school community and will be greatly, greatly missed by his fellow pupils, by the staff, board of management and everyone within the school community.
“I’d like to confirm too that our NEPS (National Educational Psychological Service) psychologists are engaging with the school and will be available to provide whatever support is required at this very sad and difficult time.”
A number of tributes have been paid to the boy, who played football with Park Rangers AFC, based in Faithlegg.
Park Rangers AFC posted on social media: “It is with great sadness that we learned about the tragic passing of one of our players this week.
“Matthew was a member of our U7 squad and will be sadly missed by his teammates and coaches.
“Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this unimaginably difficult time.”
A vigil was held for Matthew at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity on Saturday evening.