Belfast Telegraph

Funeral held for tragic Coleraine hit-and-run boy Reece Meenan

The funeral has taken place for 13-year-old Coleraine boy Reece Meenan after he was killed in a hit-and-run at the weekend.

Young Reece died after he was hit by a white-coloured car on Saturday evening at Newbridge Road.

The funeral was held on Tuesday from the family's Coleraine home before Requiem Mass in Star of the Sea Church, Portstewart.

His coffin entered the church flanked by pupils from his school Loreto College.

His parents asked for family flowers only with donations if desired made to the NSPCC in Coleraine.

"Reece will be sadly missed and loved by everyone," a notice of the death read.

More: Tributes to teen boy Reece Meenan killed in hit-and-run in Northern Ireland

Passer-by cradled hit-and-run boy Reece Meenan in his arms - 'There was nothing I could do but hold him' 

Tributes were paid to the Loreto College pupil who played football for Bertie Peacock Youths up until the end of last season.

Club chairman Aaron Moffatt said the teen "could turn his hand to anything" and had recently taken up golf.

"Reece was a great young kid who was well liked about the club and within his team," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"He was one of those wee lads who could turn his hand to anything. He had been playing a lot of golf recently up at Castlerock and I believe he was doing very well at it - he also played a bit of Gaelic.

"This news is just awful, he will be sadly missed."

Flowers have been laid close to scene and a banner which read 'RIP Reece' was hung from a nearby bridge.

Coleraine councillor, Stephanie Quigley (SDLP), knows the Meenan family and described Reece as a popular young man.

"Reece was in the same class as my son in Loreto College and was a very happy and popular young man," she said.

"To lose a child is one of the most devastating experiences for a family and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time."

The Belfast Telegraph understands Reece's mother came across the scene of the incident while she was out looking for him on Saturday evening.

It is the second tragedy to hit the family in recent years. In September 2012 Reece's uncle, Peter Lennon, died in an industrial accident.

Coleraine councillor, George Duddy (DUP), said this is a devastating tragedy for the family.

"It is impossible to imagine what they are going through at this traumatic time, and they are very much in our thoughts and prayers," he said.

He appealed for appropriate support to be made available for Reece's friends and classmates, adding: "The other young people who were with him at the time will be shocked and traumatised by this, as will his classmates. I hope that they will be offered all the support that they need to help them come to terms with this awful tragedy."

The car believed to have been involved was recovered by police in the Magherafelt area several hours after the incident and officers arrested a 23-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving causing death and a number of other offences. He was released on police bail, pending further enquiries.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Wallace appealed for witnesses and those with any information to contact police in Coleraine on 101.

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