Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Family's final farewell to tragic daughter

11-year-old killed in fall buried in Newtownards

THE family of an 11-year-old Newtownards girl who died after falling through a roof were today saying a heartbreaking final goodbye to her.

THE family of an 11-year-old Newtownards girl who died after falling through a roof were today saying a heartbreaking final goodbye to her.

Rebekah Monroe was due to be laid to rest at the town's Movilla Cemetery this afternoon after a funeral service in Scrabo Hall, next door to the business premises where she fell 25ft to her death.

The youngster, known as Becky, had been climbing on the roof of Ards Tyre Service on Mill Street when she fell through the roof and landed on a concrete floor. She died from her injuries at the Royal Victoria Hospital on Saturday.

While a police investigation into the incident is under way, it is believed Becky had been waiting with friends for a youth club in a mission hall to open when the incident occurred.

Her parents, Maggie and Sammy, sister Carlena and brothers Adam and Nathan were being comforted by friends and family today ahead of the child's funeral service, to be held just a few hundred yards from their John Street Court home.

As they prepared to make a final farewell, a leading politician urged children to be extra cautious of their safety over the summer holidays.

SDLP spokeswoman on children's issues, Patricia Lewsley, said: "Now that children are off school they are generally going out to play for longer and later into the evening as the nights are brighter.

"Children should be able to go out to play to interact with friends, to get some fresh air and some exercise, but I urge parents to be aware of the safety issues that exist when allowing kids out unsupervised."

Speaking on child safety in general Ms Lewsley issued a "few simple steps that can be taken in the interest of your children's personal safety" including:

nalways ensure that you do not go out to play alone;

nif you are going to a friend's home, get dropped off and collected by an adult;

make sure you play in open, visible spaces like a park or in a residential area where you can be seen;

if you are playing unsupervised, make sure you report back to an adult regularly;

remember the importance of not speaking or going anywhere with strangers under any circumstance.

"These are all common-sense measures but could go a long way in ensuring peace of mind for parents," she said.

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