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Northern Ireland school's moving tribute to lollipop lady Lorraine killed in road crash

School will never forget its 'bright light'

By Cate McCurry

Published 02/08/2016

Lorraine Clyde was a popular member of staff at St Comgall’s
Lorraine Clyde was a popular member of staff at St Comgall’s
Lorraine Clyde was a popular member of staff at St Comgall’s
A drawing by one of the children in tribute to Lorraine

The principal of a Co Antrim primary school has paid an emotional tribute to a former patrol lady killed in a car crash.

Lorraine Clyde died on Monday last week along with her friend and work colleague, Michelle McStravick.

The 56-year-old, from the Antrim area, was married with five children and worked at St Comgall's Primary School for around 25 years.

Staff and pupils told how she went "above and beyond" the call of duty within her roles at the school.

Lorraine, who was mother to Samantha, Phillip, Naomi, Krystal and James and wife of William, was described as a "dedicated, loyal and hard-working" member of the St Comgall's Primary School team.

She worked in a range of positions, including classroom assistant, cleaner, lunch supervisor, building supervisor and crossing patrol person, and became a union representative for members of Unison at the school and at the company Homefirst, for which she worked as a carer.

In a moving tribute, headmaster Jim Matthews said the pupils had the "utmost respect" for Lorraine.

"Her relationship with them was founded on respect, fun and consistency," he added.

"Lorraine's colleagues and friends from school speak so highly of her and point out how much she loved a good party.

"She was a great organiser and tried to involve everyone as best she could."

Lorraine was a member of the union's North Eastern Education Branch and an active member of the regional women's committee. Mr Matthews said her "determination and dedication" saw her elected to the Unison NI regional committee in October 2015.

He added: "Earlier this year she made her maiden speech at the Unison Local Government National Conference in England in front of a few thousand people and spoke about career development for support staff in schools.

"Lorraine was a determined champion of women's and workers' rights in the workplace.

"A special person to so many people who crossed paths with Lorraine in their life, but none so special as the relationship Lorraine had with her family.

"No one was ever left in any doubt of how immensely proud Lorraine was of her family. It goes without saying that this exuberant lady will be sorely missed by all who knew her. A bright light has been extinguished."

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