Poignant scenes as little Joshua Kelly laid to rest
The parents of tragic schoolboy Joshua Kelly killed in a road accident this week endured every parent's worst nightmare at the weekend when they had to lay their "beautiful boy" to rest.
Three days after the six-year-old lost his life in Newtownards, family and friends gathered at St Patrick's Church in Portaferry to say their final goodbyes to the lively and fun-loving Co Down youngster.
Joshua's devastated parents Clare and Michael were supported by family during the poignant ceremony when the congregation was reminded of the little boy's love for tennis, football, swimming, dinosaurs and superheroes.
They were also told the child had proven himself worthy of the title superhero after once saving his mum's life by dialling 999 in an emergency.
Joshua, a primary three pupil at St Finians in Newtownards, counted Iron Man as his favourite character and would spend hours playing superheroes with his cousins.
The boy, who is survived by little sister Saoirse, was also known for climbing and using the gable wall of his home in Newtownards to practise his tennis skills, the congregation was told.
The service drew to a close to the sound of the traditional Irish song May The Road Rise To Meet You.
The family made their way slowly from the church to the nearby graveyard and as his white coffin was lowered into the ground, Joshua's mum broke down sobbing and clung tightly to relatives.
Members of his family held on tightly to 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.
One of the priests took the microphone, and through the biting wind, he sang You'll Never Walk Alone as mourners joined in sorrow.
Joshua is the third child to die on Northern Ireland's roads in less than a month.
He was knocked down on the Scrabo Road on Wednesday afternoon. He was taken to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald but it was confirmed a few hours later that he had lost his life. His mum wrote on Facebook: "Yesterday my beautiful boy grew his wings. And I thank God for the six brilliant years I had him."
On January 9 six-year-old Ella Trainor from Hilltown in Co Down was killed in a collision in Newry. Seven-year-old Jackson Turner died in hospital after a three-car smash on the Old Carrick Road outside Newtownabbey on Boxing Day.