Belfast Telegraph

Belfast primary school pays tribute after sudden death of classroom assistant

The entrance to St Paul's Primary School. Credit: Google
The entrance to St Paul's Primary School. Credit: Google

A Belfast primary school has paid tribute after the sudden death of a classroom assistant at the age of 24.

Charlotte Toner, who worked at St Paul's Primary School and Nursery in Mica Drive passed away on September 26.

She was found dead in her bed at home home by her parents Helen and Gerard. Attempts by emergency services to revive her proved unsuccessful.

Mrs Toner told the Irish News that a post-mortem examination had proved inconclusive and that the family were waiting on toxicology results.

The family are from the Black's Road area of west Belfast and Charlotte was a past pupil of Malone Integrated College and St Louise's Comprehensive College.

She had studied for her teaching assistant qualifications at night classes and also worked part-time for Iceland.

On the morning of Charlotte's death St Paul's posted a tribute on their Facebook page.

"We are saddened to share the news that Miss Charlotte Toner, our colleague and friend, passed away this morning," the statement read.

"Miss Toner had been working in St. Paul's as a Classroom Assistant for the last year. In that short time she became such a feature in our school, loved and admired by so many children and staff. She contributed so much to the life, work and atmosphere within the school and her sudden and untimely passing has been so hard on her family, friends and school community of St. Paul's.

"We extend our sincere sympathies to her parents and entire family circle and ask that you keep them, and Charlotte, in your thoughts and prayers."

Helen Toner told the Irish News that the loss of their daughter had been a "nightmare" for the family.

"She was going to bed as normal. Her and her best friend, they had plans to look out for a wee house. They were quite excited about it and she was saying they had booked a viewing,"  she said.

She described Charlotte as a "lovely person" with a "big heart" and "bubbly personality".

"I just miss her smile, her laugh, just her happy-go-lucky attitude to life, her positivity. She always looked on the bright side," Mrs Toner said.

"I would like to know why she was taken.

"I just feel like my heart has been ripped out, me and my husband both. We are just devastated. We are all devastated".

Ms Toner was laid to rest on Monday following requiem mass at St Anne's Church followed by a service in Roselawn Crematorium.

She is survived by parents Helen and Gerard, brothers Paul and Sean and sister Marie.

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