A vigil is to be held tomorrow, in memory of a 12-year-old child, Wiktor Chojecki, who died Friday in a road accident.
he boy died when a car he was driving collided with an articulated lorry, at around 2am, just outside the village of Adare, Co Limerick.
The boy, whose parents emigrated to Newcastle West from their native Poland several years ago, was the sole occupant of the car, Gardaí said.
A ‘Light Up the Sky for Wiktor Chojecki’ vigil is due to take place at The Square, Newcastle West, at 3pm on Sunday.
Prayers are also said for the family at local masses around the parish as well as at services in the city of Limerick.
The vigil is being hosted by Newcastle West resident and Polish native Dominika Hogan.
“As a member of the Polish community in Newcastle West, it saddens me to say that once our good friends lost their son to death in a car crash,” Ms Hogan wrote on social media.
“To show my support for Wiktor’s family and as a mark of respect, I would like to invite anyone who wishes to release a Wiktor memorial balloon to Newcastle West Square at 3pm.”
“Bring a balloon or two, let’s light up the skies for Wiktor,” Ms Hogan added.
Gardaí investigating the fatal collision are to examine the boy’s mobile phone, which was found at the scene, to see if it contains any clues as to why he ended up driving the car in the early hours of Friday.
Gardaí are working on the theory that the boy took his family’s Nissan Qashqai for a spin in the middle of the night while they were sleeping.
A priest who gave the last rites to a 12-year-old child at the ‘heartbreaking’ scene of the accident told the Irish Independent how he was deeply moved by the courage of the boy’s parents, Ewa and Bartosz.
“To see a man and a woman arrive and have to deal with the body of their dead 12-year-old son was heartbreaking,” Bishop Daniel Neenan said.
“We gave them a few moments of privacy and then I went. I talked to them and we prayed.
Pat O’Sullivan, honorary consul of the Republic of Poland in Limerick, said he would attend Sunday’s vigil and offer all possible help to the boy’s family.
Mr O’Sullivan said Poland’s ambassador to Ireland, Anna Sochanska, was in fact in Limerick on Friday, on a planned visit, and had offered her condolences and sympathy to the boy’s family.
Mr O’Sullivan said he had been in contact with the Polish Embassy and would offer any consular assistance to the boy’s family.
“I will be attending the vigil, I don’t know the family, but there are between 7,000 and 10,000 Poles living in the Limerick area, around 140,000 nationally,” Mr O’Sullivan said.
“Our duties are to deal with certain legal issues and to assist and support industry and trade between Limerick and Clare and Poland, as well as to deal with some of the more human and social issues that may arise with our community. Polish woman living here.”
“We do everything from advising to directing the right way from which agencies to deal with. The Polish community is an asset to our community, they have a great work ethic and also provide part of the social fabric to our community in terms of Polish art exhibitions, festivals etc. and they are very involved in sports organizations. and sports clubs.
Mr O’Sullivan said the boy’s death was ‘a tragic event and I offer my sympathy and support to the family’.
“We don’t know the context or how it happened, but at the end of the day, it’s so tragic and the loss of life at such a young age is so sad for his family.”
There is a large Polish community in Newcastle West and surrounding western county and those in the community, as well as neighbors and friends of the boy’s family gathered around them as they tried to come to terms with the horrific events of Friday morning.
Wiktor was a popular first year student at Scoil Mhuire agus Ide, Newcastle West, where headmaster Sean Lane said the boy would be ‘much missed’ by pupils and teaching staff.
The school will continue to provide psychological supports to “all students across the school who may be affected by the tragedy”, Mr Lane added.
“Gardaí is appealing to all witnesses to this collision to come forward. Any road users who may have camera footage (including dash cams) and who were traveling on the N21 near Adare area at the time of the collision are requested to make these images available to Gardaí,” a garda spokesperson said.
“Anyone with information is asked to contact Newcastlewest Garda Station on 069 20650, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.”