Tearful teenagers thronged a south Belfast church yesterday morning to mourn the loss of Adele Whiteside, the 14-year-old who was knocked down and killed in a weekend car accident.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at Church of the Epiphany in Finaghy to say their final farewells to the popular teenager, who was killed as she made her way home from a wedding.
Fellow pupils from Dunmurry High School and friends from the local community formed a guard of honour at the doors of the church as the funeral cortege arrived.
Many of the young mourners wore T-shirts reading 'Adele '07' or sports shirts with 'Adele 1' across the back.
Following the hearse was an open lorry decked with the many floral tributes sent in memory of the teenager.
Mourners wept as Adele's uncle David Cross described her capacity to make anyone she was with feel special.
"This has torn the heart out of her family and torn the heart out of this community," he said.
"She was precious to everyone - she was so loved by everyone."
Prayers were led by Adele's sister Alannah.
Dunmurry High School principal Tina Corkan described Adele as a model pupil who had a fun-loving outlook.
"She was very popular with fellow pupils and was a good and loyal friend. Her smile could light up any room," she said.
"She was a girl who was an absolute pleasure and privilege to have known, and someone we will never forget."
The Reverend Garth Bunting prayed for Adele's family and the staff and pupils of her school.
"We know that we are not going to see her again, but it's true we will not forget her," he said.
Adele was laid to rest at Roselawn Cemetery following the funeral service.