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Tragic schoolboy Aaron is given a 'beautiful' send-off

By Allan Preston

Published 19/04/2016

Aaron Fox's coffin is carried by mourners into Holy Cross church
Aaron Fox's coffin is carried by mourners into Holy Cross church
Mourners gather outside Holy Cross Church in Belfast for the funeral of Aaron Fox who was found dead in his home on Wednesday
Aaron Fox

A "beautiful send-off" described the funeral of a Ligoniel teenager who died suddenly last week.

Aaron Fox was just 16 when he was found dead in his home last Wednesday in tragic circumstances.

Mourners gathered at his parents Paul and Sarah's Thornberry Hill home yesterday morning before making their way to Holy Cross Church in Ardoyne.

On Sunday night his mother posted a thank-you on social media for all the support the family had received: "I just want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your kind words throughout the day, as you can all imagine we as a family are totally heartbroken".

In October last year, Aaron had been reported missing but turned up safely after an appeal from mum Sarah.

Expressing her support for the family, friend Joanne Coney said: "Sarah, God love you. I can't get you out of my head. My heart is broken for you. God bless you and your entire family - your wee son was beautiful."

Parish priest Fr Devlin conducted the Requiem Mass in front of hundreds of family and friends before Aaron's burial at Crumlin Cemetery.

The family requested that what was said at the service remained private.

Aaron's older brother Ryan is among family and friends who have described their loss in tributes online.

"I love you wee man, shine bright in the sky for us because we'll need all the help and guidance we can get."

A memorial Facebook page with well over 2,000 followers has been set up in honour of the late high school student.

He was described as a "budding chef and gifted pupil".

The tribute page encouraged mourners to wear colourful clothes to his funeral.

A post last night read: "Well that's Aaron at rest. He got a beautiful send-off and it's exactly what Aaron deserved, he will always be sadly missed and everyone is so shocked and hurt by what happened. Forever young Aaron, RIP. Only one Aaron Fox."

Many friends paid their own tributes on the page. Anne Teer commented: "Lovely day for Aaron, heartbreaking to watch. Thinking of Paul, Sarah, Ryan, Jordan and his wee princess."

Sean Marley wrote: "RIP Aaron mate, you will be missed, look after your family and give them strength to get through the difficult days ahead."

On Saturday a candlelit vigil for the schoolboy was held at Falls Park in west Belfast with lanterns and balloons released in his memory.

The principal of St Malachy's College, Paul McBride, had also urged parents to help pupils through the painful loss of their friend.

A letter posted out to the parents read: "Your son may or may not want to talk about it but it is likely that he will need extra love and support from you in the days ahead.

"He may be feeling anxious. Take time to listen to your son and try to provide a predictable routine for him at home."

Aaron is survived by his parents Paul and Sarah and siblings Ryan, Jordan and Brogan.

  • If you or someone you know is in distress or despair, call Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.
  • The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also access the Lifeline website at www.lifelinehelpline.info. Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123.

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