Ethan McCourt: ‘lovely wee lad’ dies days before seventh birthday after devastating car crash in County Antrim

Ethan McCourt died after being badly hurt in a car crash while he was travelling to school

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Tributes have been paid to a 6-year-old boy who died after a devastating car crash in Northern Ireland.

Ethan McCourt was just days from his seventh birthday when he died from his injuries following the crash in County Antrim, with his father also injured.

His death has left Ethan’s local community heartbroken, with heartfelt tributes left to the young boy.

Six-year-old Ethan McCourt died after being involved in a car crash just days before his seventh birthday. (Credit: Family handout)Six-year-old Ethan McCourt died after being involved in a car crash just days before his seventh birthday. (Credit: Family handout)
Six-year-old Ethan McCourt died after being involved in a car crash just days before his seventh birthday. (Credit: Family handout)

Ethan died days before his seventh birthday

Ethan was in the car with his father, Declan, when he was injured in the one-vehicle crash while on his way to school at around 7:45am on Monday 20 June.

The crash took place in Magherafelt as the pair travelled to Ballaghy Primary School.

Police confirmed the crash “involved a black Mercades which collided with the roundabout”.

Ethan died five days after the crash, with his passing taking place on 25 June. He was due to celebrate his seventh birthday in the last week of June.

His father is still in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.

‘There’s an awful sadness over the village’

Ethan’s local community in Troome have extended their condolences to the young boy’s family following the upsetting news.

The Right Reverend Monsignor Andrew Dolan describe the six-year-old as a “typical wee boy” who was “full of fun”.

Speaking to the BBC, the reverend said: “He loved playing with all his wee friends at St Mary’s school.

“The teachers and just the whole school are in complete shock.

“There was a lot of shock last week but now there’s just an awful sadness over the whole village after this news.

“Everyone here in Bellaghy has, and continues to have, Ethan and his whole family in their prayers.”

Tributes paid to ‘lovely wee lad’

The Bellaghy Primary School Parent Teacher Association spoke about the “devastating news”, saying: “I was so saddened to hear of the passing of six year old Ethan McCourt, a pupil of St. Mary’s Primary School, Bellaghy, following that tragic accident last week.

“I can not begin to imagine the impact of this devastating news on his family and the school community of St. Mary’s.

“As a school family at Bellaghy P.S., we extend our heartfelt sympathy to Ethan’s family circle, his friends and staff members at St. Mary’s P.S.”

Tributes have also been pouring in on social media, with one local community member saying: “From all accounts, Ethan was a lovely wee lad who enjoyed playing with his friends in school and getting to see his Grandparents.”

Emma Sheerin, MLA for Mid Ulster, spoke of the heartbreak within the community.

She said: “The community is filled with shock and sadness at the death of local boy Ethan McCourt following a road accident at the Castledawson roundabout last Monday.

“I extend my deepest condolences to his family, friends and teammates at Bellaghy GAC at this sad and difficult time. The whole community will rally around them.”

Local sports team, Wolfe Tones Baile Eachaidh GAC, sent their blessings to Ethan’s family, saying “Ar dheis de go raibh a anam dilis”, meaning “may his holy soul be on the right side of God”.

The funeral service for Ethan is due to take place on Tuesday 28 June in Ballaghy.

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