A three-month-old baby girl has died after being attacked by a dog in west Waterford, gardaí have confirmed.

The incident happened at a house in the village of Clashmore when the baby, who was born in February, was in her bedroom.

She sustained serious head injuries during the attack.

Emergency services attended the scene and treated the baby girl before bringing her by ambulance to Cork University Hospital. However, she was pronounced dead shortly after 3.15am.

The baby's mother is in her 20s and moved to the area relatively recently.

Gardaí in Dungarvan are investigating the fatal incident.

The scene has been preserved and members of the Garda Technical Bureau are expected to carry out an examination.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out at Cork University Hospital tomorrow.

Fr Milo Guiry of Ardmore, whose parish encompasses the village of Clashmore, said that it was a "terrible tragedy."

"We will keep the family in our prayers. Every support will be offered to them. It is terrible, terrible news."

Mayor of Waterford City and County Councillor Damien Geoghegan said it was very sad news to hear "that a three-month-old child had lost her life in such horrible circumstances".

Cllr Geoghegan, whose electoral area includes the village of Clashmore, said everybody's thoughts and prayers are with the girl’s family and the wider community, who can be assured of support in the coming weeks and months.

"There’s no doubt but that the community will rally around and support the family, that’s how we do things in Ireland and I’m sure we won’t be found wanting on this occasion."

He said the loss would be felt throughout west Waterford, east Cork and beyond.

Locals expressed shock at the death of a young baby in such tragic circumstances.

Pat Flavin said "You hear this kind of thing on television but you don't expect it to happen here. Everyone will support them and do what they can for them."

A young mother whose children were having fun in a local play area shook her head in sorrow when asked about the tragedy.

"I heard first thing this morning and I couldn't even speak for a while because I have small kids myself and you always worry about things that could happen," she said.

It is understood that a file will be sent to the Coroners' Court and an inquest will be held in due course.