Ardoyne baby tragedy: Liam O’Keefe attends Brompton Park vigil for two-month-old son

The father of a baby boy who died tragically in north Belfast on Tuesday has attended a vigil in his memory in the area tonight.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th July 2021, 10:15 pm

A distraught Liam O’Keefe was comforted by residents during a vigil in Ardoyne tonight, following the tragic death of his son – also called Liam.

The two-month-old baby was pronounced dead at a house in Brompton Park in the area on Tuesday night after being stabbed.

Police have arrested a 29-year-old woman on suspicion of murder. Residents have been leaving flowers and teddy bears at the house.

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Liam O'Keefe, father of baby Liam, speaks to local residents as they take part in a vigil and balloon launch at Brompton Park, Ardoyne, North Belfast this evening in memory of his son. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye

His sister, who was injured in the same stabbing incident at Brompton Park in the Ardoyne area on Tuesday evening, remains in hospital.

Detective Chief Inspector Chris Millar said: “A 29-year-old woman arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder has now been released from hospital and transferred to police custody for questioning.

“The other young child injured during this incident remains in hospital where her condition is described as stable.

“I would like to thank the local community for their unwavering support and patience while we continue our investigation into the tragic events of Tuesday evening and I continue to ask that anyone who has any information to contact us .”

It is understood the children’s father was in England when the attack happened and he has travelled back to Northern Ireland.

A post-mortem examination on the boy is set to take place on Thursday.

The arrested woman was taken to hospital by police after the incident for treatment to non-life-threatening injuries.

It is understood the arrested woman was taken to hospital by police after the incident for treatment to non-life-threatening injuries. She is also being held on suspicion of the attempted murder of the girl.

MP for the area John Finucane said the local community had been left stunned.

Detective Chief Inspector Millar from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s major investigation team said: “Police were called to the house shortly after 8pm and discovered the injured baby and another injured child in the house.

“Despite the efforts of the emergency services the baby was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.

“The other young child was taken to hospital and remains in intensive care.

“A 29-year-old woman who was also in the house has been arrested on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and remains in custody at this time.

“Our thoughts are with the baby’s family, who are being supported by family liaison officers.”

In an update on Wednesday evening, he added: “Our investigation into last night’s tragic events is progressing and I am keen to thank the local community for their ongoing support.

“A post-mortem is expected to take place tomorrow.”

Sinn Fein MP Mr Finucane visited the scene earlier on Wednesday.

He said: “It was a very tragic situation which unfolded here in Ardoyne last night.

“It is my understanding that first responders entered a house, they found two young children very seriously injured and despite their best efforts one child died at the scene.

“Another child has been taken to hospital and is currently in a critical condition.

“Our hopes and prayers are that that child will pull through and make a full recovery.

“Everybody in the community, their thoughts are with the families that are directly affected by this.

“It is a tragic situation compounded by the fact that we are dealing with somebody who has died at such a young age.

“I think there is a senselessness to it, I think people find it very difficult to try to comprehend the facts as they are being relayed and the facts as they are emerging.

“It is incredibly difficult and will obviously leave a mark on those who are most impacted by it, and all we can do is rally round those who need support at this time.

“This has been hugely impactful.

“There were neighbours who assisted and some people who would have witnessed scenes that they shouldn’t have to witness.

“Ardoyne is a very proud community, it is a resilient community also, and I have no doubt whatsoever that they will rally around each other at this very difficult time, they will provide help and assistance for those who need it.

“I would also just stress just for people to exercise caution and sensitivity in regards to what they would post or share on social media – there is a live murder investigation and people need to be respectful of that process as well.”

People Before Profit councillor Fiona Ferguson said the news was “truly devastating”.

“A wave of shock began in Brompton Park last night and spread out across north Belfast,” she said.

“After something so shocking, community solidarity, community support, rallying around each other is going to be absolutely paramount.”


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