Matthew Healy was a six-year-old boy who died in a mysterious incident near Dunmore East, Co. Waterford, on February 9, 2024. A woman in her 30s, who was with him at the time, was arrested by the gardaí and taken to hospital for medical treatment. The cause of his death is still under investigation, and the results of a postmortem examination and toxicology tests are awaited. Matthew’s tragic death has shocked and saddened his family, friends, school, and community, who have paid tribute to him and called for justice and answers.
The Tragic Death of Matthew Healy
The alarm was raised shortly after midnight on Friday, when a distraught woman knocked on the doors of several houses in the Ballymacaw seaside area, asking for help. She was reportedly covered in blood and had injuries on her face and hands. She told the residents that she had been in a car with a child, who was not breathing.
The gardaí and the emergency services were alerted and arrived at the scene. They found Matthew’s body unresponsive in a car parked near Rathmoylan Cove, a secluded area of the coast, a few miles from Dunmore East. They tried to resuscitate him, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
The woman, who was in a state of distress, was arrested by the gardaí under suspicion of murder. She was not medically fit for questioning at the time of her arrest. She was deemed in need of medical and psychiatric support and taken to University Hospital Waterford.
Who Was Matthew Healy?
Matthew Healy was a bright and cheerful boy who lived in Ballygunner, Co. Waterford, with his parents and two siblings. He attended Faithlegg National School, where he was in first class. He loved playing soccer and was a member of the Park Rangers AFC U7 squad. He also enjoyed swimming, cycling, and spending time with his family and friends.
Matthew’s family described him as a “treasured” and “beautiful” son and brother, who was “full of life” and “always smiling”. They said he was “the light of their lives” and “their little angel”. They asked for privacy and respect as they grieved their devastating loss.
Matthew’s school principal, teachers, and classmates expressed their shock and sorrow over his death. They said he was a “wonderful” and “popular” student, who was “kind” and “friendly” to everyone. They said he was a “joy to teach” and a “pleasure to have in the classroom”. They offered their support and sympathy to his family and each other.
Matthew’s soccer club, Park Rangers AFC, also paid tribute to him. They said he was a “talented” and “enthusiastic” player, who was “well-liked” and “respected” by his teammates and coaches. They said he was a “credit to his club” and a “great ambassador for the game”. They extended their thoughts and prayers to his loved ones at this “unimaginably difficult time”.
Speculations and Theories Surrounding His Death
The circumstances and the motive behind Matthew’s death are still unclear and puzzling. The gardaí have not yet released the results of a postmortem examination on his body, which was carried out by the State Pathologist. They are also awaiting the results of toxicology tests, which could shed some light on the cause of his death. Preliminary findings indicated that he did not drown.
The woman who was arrested in connection with his death is believed to be a relative of Matthew, but not his mother. Her relationship to him and the reason why they were in the car together are not known. It is also not known how she sustained her injuries or if they were self-inflicted.
Some media reports suggested that there could have been foul play involved in Matthew’s death, and that the woman could have harmed him intentionally or unintentionally. Some sources claimed that the woman had a history of mental health issues and substance abuse, and that she may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident. However, these allegations have not been confirmed or verified by the gardaí or the family.
The gardaí are treating Matthew’s death as a homicide, and are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. They are also examining CCTV footage and mobile phone records to piece together the events leading up to the tragedy. They are expected to question the woman once she is medically fit, and to decide whether to charge her or release her.
Remembering Matthew Healy
Matthew’s funeral took place on Monday, February 12, 2024, at St. Mary’s Church in Ballygunner. Hundreds of mourners attended the service, including his family, friends, schoolmates, teachers, soccer club, and neighbours. They wore blue ribbons and jerseys in his memory, and carried balloons, flowers, and teddy bears. They sang songs, read poems, and shared stories about Matthew, celebrating his life and honouring his legacy.
Many people also expressed their condolences and solidarity with Matthew’s family online, using the hashtag #RIPMatthew. They said he was a “beautiful soul” who was “taken too soon”. They said he would be “forever missed” and “never forgotten”. They also called for justice and investigation into his death, and demanded answers and accountability from the authorities.
Matthew’s death has had a profound impact on the community, especially on the children who knew him. His school and soccer club have provided counselling and support to the students and staff who are struggling to cope with the loss. They have also organised memorial events and activities to help them heal and remember Matthew. His school has set up a book of condolences and a memory wall, where people can write messages and draw pictures for Matthew. His soccer club has held a minute’s silence and a balloon release before their matches, and dedicated their games to Matthew.
The aftermath of the tragedy has also raised awareness and concern about the issues of child safety, mental health, and substance abuse. Many people have urged the government and the society to do more to protect and support the vulnerable and the at-risk groups, and to prevent such incidents from happening again. They have also called for more compassion and empathy towards those who are suffering and in need of help.
Matthew Healy was a young boy who had a bright future ahead of him. He was loved and cherished by his family, friends, and community, who are heartbroken and devastated by his death. His death remains a mystery and a tragedy, that has shaken and stirred the nation. He will always be remembered as a happy and lively child, who brought joy and light to everyone who knew him. He will always be in their hearts and minds, as they seek justice and closure for him. He will always be their little angel, who is now resting in peace.