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Joshua Kelly: boy killed in road accident had saved mother once with 999 call

By Lisa Smyth

Published 24/01/2016

Joshua Kelly with his mum Clare Kelly
Joshua Kelly with his mum Clare Kelly

TRAGIC schoolboy Joshua Kelly who was killed in a road accident had previously saved his mum’s life, mourners at his funeral heard yesterday.

Just three days after the six-year-old youngster lost his life in Newtownards, hundreds of people gathered at St Patrick’s Church in Ballyphilip, Portaferry, to say their final goodbyes.

They were also told about a boy who used hugs as medicine and who saved his mum Clare’s life on one occasion by dialling 999 in an emergency.

During an emotional service, many in the congregation were reduced to tears as they listened with parents Clare and Michael to details of Joshua’s love for tennis, football, swimming, dinosaurs and superheroes.

Joshua, a primary three pupil at St Finian’s School in Newtownards, counted Iron Man as his favourite character and would spend hours playing superheroes with his cousins.

He was also known for climbing and using the gable wall of his home in Newtownards to practice his tennis skills, the congregation was told.

The service drew to a close to the traditional Irish hymn May the Road Rise to Meet You and later there were heartbreaking scenes as the burial took place in the adjoining graveyard.

Members of his family carried teddy bears, toy dinosaurs and a Spider-Man mask that had all been brought to the service as some of the youngster’s most prized possessions.

He was knocked down on the Scrabo Road in Newtownards on Wednesday afternoon.

He was taken to the nearby Ulster Hospital but it was confirmed a few hours later that he had lost his life.

In the early hours of the following day, his mum wrote on Facebook: “Yesterday my beautiful boy grew his wings. And I thank God for the 6 brilliant years I had him. RIP my wee bird.”

Joshua is the fourth child to lose their life on Northern Ireland’s roads over the past month.

In December seven-year-old boys Ryan McGovern and Jackson Turner died in separate accidents near Belcoo and in Newtownabbey.

Six-year-old Ella Trainor from Hilltown was killed outside Newry on January 9.

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