Belfast Telegraph

Armagh school in tribute to pupil John Irwin (16) who died after he collapsed in class

By David Young

The Armagh school hit by a double tragedy this week after the death of former head girl Lesley-Ann McCarragher and Year 12 pupil John Irwin has published a moving tribute to the latter, who passed away in the early hours of Wednesday morning after collapsing in class on Tuesday.

On its Facebook page a spokesperson for City of Armagh High School wrote: "We at City of Armagh High School mourn the sudden death of John Irwin, one of our Year 12 pupils.

"John was a much-loved and highly respected member of our school community who will be missed by all of us. We are deeply saddened by this great loss.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with John's family at this tragic time. We extend to them our sincerest sympathy and support."

Friends of the school also left heartfelt messages of sympathy and condolences to both bereaved families.

Jennifer Rowntree wrote on the school's Facebook page: "So sad. What heartache for this young lad's family. May the Lord give them strength. Thinking and praying for the Irwin and Frazer families,"

Another poster, Kelly Lawson, offered her condolences and wrote: "So sad, deepest Sympathies to John's family and his friends and teachers at City of Armagh High. Thinking of you all x."

Flo McCall posted: "So so sad. Prayers and much love to Diane, Keith and family also Armagh High and the school community... just heartbreaking."

A relative of the Irwin family, Shannon Kelly, posted: "Even though we were distant family it's still so heartbreaking to hear. My thoughts and prayers go to the Irwins today. John was amazing and I'm so glad to have had the pleasure of meeting him. Gone but not forgotten."

The City of Armagh High School's Facebook page also paid tribute to Lesley-Ann McCarragher, whose funeral took place on Wednesday - the same day on which John died.

Read more: Handbag she loved but would not live to see: family's final tribute to tragic Lesley-Ann

The 19-year-old died in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital after being hit by a vehicle while was out running on the Monaghan Road near Milford, Co Armagh. A 17-year-old male has been charged with a number of motoring offences, including causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop and failing to report an accident, and driving without a licence and insurance.

The funeral of John will take place at St John's Church of Ireland in Middletown, Co Armagh, at 2pm tomorrow.

The service will be held just seven says after the teenager celebrated his 16th birthday with his family.

Drumhillery Primary School - which John formerly attended - said that a Beetle drive organised for tonight had been cancelled as a mark of respect to the Irwin family.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the school added: "John was a much-respected past pupil of Drumhillery, someone of whom we have very fond memories.

"Mrs Irwin has been a highly esteemed member of our board of governors for many years.

"We wish to take this opportunity to pass on our deepest sympathy and condolences to the Irwin family at this time and assure them of our sincere thoughts and prayers."

Belfast Telegraph

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