Tuesday 17 September 2019

'Heaven has well and truly gained an angel' - grief after young teacher dies in fall at her home

Fionnuala Kennedy
Fionnuala Kennedy

Lauren Harte

Two west Belfast schools are mourning the death of a popular young teacher following a tragic accident at her home.

Mother-of-one Fionnuala Kennedy passed away on Monday afternoon as a result of injuries sustained in a fall on Saturday.

She was a Year Two teacher at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School, where a book of condolence was opened for her yesterday.

Principal Patrick McCabe said the school community had been left heartbroken by the tragedy.

"Death at any stage is an unspeakable tragedy, but the death of one so young, so full of life, love, compassion and beauty only compounds it further.

"This is a young, wonderful life taken too soon. I would ask that you keep Fionnuala, her family and friends in your prayers and thoughts," he said.

Her death is also being mourned at the neighbouring St Teresa's Primary School, where her husband Ciaran Hughes is a P5 teacher and her young son Lorcan a P3 pupil.

In a statement the school said: "Fionnuala was often teaching here in St Teresa's PS as a substitute teacher and also worked in our Whizz Kidz Club during the summer months.

"We, the school community, wish to send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr Hughes, Lorcan and Fionnuala's entire family circle at this most difficult time."

There has also been a huge outpouring of support for Ms Kennedy's family on social media as they prepare to say goodbye to her at the funeral later this week.

Hundreds of tributes have been posted online by colleagues and parents who described the young woman as "a ray of sunshine".

One woman whose son was taught by Ms Kennedy at St Colman's PS in Lambeg said her death was absolutely devastating news.

"It's just an utter ripple of devastation for all that knew her - heaven has well and truly gained an angel," she wrote.

Another parent added: "Devastated beyond words.

"My daughter idolised this woman last year.

"She was a teacher who made a lasting impression on her forever!"

A colleague wrote: "Such a beautiful girl inside and out, always smiling. So heartbreaking."

Belfast Telegraph

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