The young girl who died in a tragic farming accident was a fun-loving child who led a life full of potential, mourners at her funeral heard yesterday.
Little Alison Torrens, who was just eight years old, was killed after being crushed by machinery at the family farm near Drumquin on Thursday evening.
Yesterday hundreds of mourners from across the rural west Tyrone community packed the village’s Presbyterian Church for her funeral service.
Alison was an accomplished horse-rider and showjumper and was the daughter of Mervyn Torrens, one of Northern Ireland’s top racehorse trainers.
Members of the Seskinore Harriers and Fermanagh Harriers pony clubs formed a guard of honour outside the church, along with pupils from Langfield Primary School where Alison was a pupil.
The little white coffin was serenaded into the church by a lone piper. Behind it were Alison’s heartbroken parents and her younger sister, Jennifer, who was dressed in her riding outfit and carrying a small wreath.
The 45-minute service was conducted by the Reverend John Hanson and Reverend David Ferguson, who was Alison’s uncle through marriage.
Rev Ferguson told mourners that words were insufficient to explain the devastation which the young girl’s tragic death had caused for her family and the wider Drumquin community.
“She was such a fun-loving girl,” he said. “A young life, so filled with potential and promise, was taken from her by such a tragic accident. She touched so many people in that short life.”
Earlier mourners had been told about Alison’s love of horses. Her favourite horse, Seabiscuit, had been trained by her father.
“From an early age it was evident she would follow in the family footsteps,” continued Rev Ferguson. “She excelled and her room was awash with trophies and rosettes.
“School was not an option for Alison. She loved cookery classes but for her it was the outdoor life and games centred around her ponies and horses.”
He said her little sister Jennifer (5) was always by her side, adding: “You never saw one without the other.”
Rev Hanson, who led the service, said Alison was a lover of God’s world and had been destined for a bright career as a showjumper.
“She was a very happy child who skipped rather than walked,” he said. “A loving daughter and granddaughter, she loved to give and receive hugs.”
Following the service Alison, who is also survived by her mother Anne and grandmother Noleen, was buried at Castlederg Cemetery.