Belfast Telegraph

Slurry tragedy schoolboy Robert Christie is buried as father fights for his life

By Joanne Sweeney

Slurry fumes victim Robert Christie was laid to rest yesterday as his father remains critically ill in hospital.

The eight-year-old from Dunloy, Co Antrim, was with his father on Saturday afternoon when they were overcome by slurry fumes as they worked on a neighbour's farm.

Robert died shortly after he was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital. His father Bertie (52) was rushed to the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine, where his condition has not changed.

His mother Simone and her two primary school-age daughters, Isobel and Alice, had to endure the pain of Robert's funeral while Bertie lies seriously ill in intensive care.

The funeral was held at the family's place of worship, Ballyweaney Presbyterian Church, where Rev Kenneth Hutchinson officiated.

The Christie family had asked the media to respect their privacy during the funeral service which was attended by family and friends from the close-knit farming community around Dunloy and Ballymoney, as well as members of Ballymoney Women's Institute of which Mrs Christine is a member.

Staff and pupils of Knockahollet Primary School where Robert has been a popular member of the P4 class also attended the funeral.

They had been supported by trained counsellors as they returned back to class on Monday after news of the weekend's tragedy became known.

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