Tributes have been paid to a 13-year-old boy who died following an incident at a school in Co Kilkenny.

Harry Byrne was injured when he was hit by a sliotar at St Kieran's College on Monday afternoon.

He was taken to St Luke's Hospital in Kilkenny, where he was later pronounced dead.

Ciaran Phelan, vice chairman of Young Irelands GAA club in Gowran, described Harry as "a lovely boy who stood out" and was a credit to his family and to his local GAA club.

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Claire Byrne, Mr Phelan said: "There are no words to explain how the incident is affecting the local community.

"Harry was the loveliest chap you could meet. He probably grew a foot in the last year-and-a-half since Covid.

"His enthusiasm, his smile and manners ... everything about Harry stood out and he was a credit to his family and a credit to his club. He was a lovely chap."

Harry was making "real progress" at hurling, Mr Phelan said.

He had won two under-13 county championships and had recently been selected for football trials at Kilkenny College.

"He was really starting to do well," Mr Phelan said.

He said Harry and his brothers, Jake and Sam, along with his sister, Amy "lived on the hurling field in Gowran".

"If one of them is playing, they are all down there."

Mr Phelan appealed for privacy for the Byrne family.

Labour Party councillor Denis Hynes said the whole community is "sad and shocked".

Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, he said: "It's an awful time for us all here and I cannot begin to imagine what it is like for Harry's Mam and Dad, it's very tough.

"The pain being felt for the family couldn't be measured ... it's everyone's greatest fear, your heart breaks".

Cllr Hynes coached Harry in soccer at his club Bridge United Football Club in Goresbridge, Co Kilkenny, and said he was "a joy to coach".

He described Harry as "a lovely, lovely chap and very popular in our club, in Young Irelands and [St] Kieran's and he had loads of friends in the Gowran, Clara and Goresbridge areas".

But he said hurling was Harry's real love and he had hoped to be chosen for the county development team.

He said that Harry's teammates and coaches at Bridge United are planning to do something to remember him and will come together to support each other.

Gardaí said yesterday that they are treating the incident as a tragic accident. A file will be prepared for the coroner's court.