Belfast Telegraph

Emotional funeral for Jack Irvine (4) who died in drowning tragedy

By Michelle Weir

A young boy who died in a Halloween party tragedy fell to earth before he could fly, a priest told mourners at his funeral.

Jack Irvine (4) had been enjoying festivities with his family in Crumlin, Co Antrim, on Tuesday night when the accident happened.

The boy is thought to have wandered off and fallen into a fishpond.

After a frantic search he was found unconscious in the water.

Jack was rushed to Antrim Area Hospital by ambulance, but efforts by doctors to save him failed.

A Mass of the Angels, especially chosen for children, was conducted by parish priest Fr Colm McBride at St Joseph’s Church in Glenavy after the funeral cortege left his home at Cairn Terrace in Crumlin.

Fr McBride told mourners that he had “no fear that Jack was anywhere than in the care of our heavenly Father”.

He described the boy as an “intelligent and inquisitive child who wanted to rush ahead to get to nursery and see his teacher”.

Jack had been a pupil at Crumlin Integrated Pre-School.

Fr McBride said he was “already discovering the other good things outside his home”.

He added that Jack “fell to earth before he really had a chance to fly”.

“But already he was a very loving child who loved cuddling up with mum and dad; full of the enthusiasm for things which filled his life — loved his toys, Teletubbies and so on at home.

“The fullness of human life was contained in this little child.

“Our faith tells us that there was kindled within him, a spark of the life of God Himself which death cannot extinguish.”

Fr McBride prayed that the presence of the mourners who packed the church would be a support to Jack’s parents Karen and Eddie and that they would be supported and comforted through the love of their children and family.

Jack is also survived by his brothers James, Aaron, Harley and Charlie.

He was laid to rest in the church’s adjoining cemetery.

Police confirmed that a post-mortem was carried out and Jack’s death is not being treated as suspicious.

One online tribute said: “Jack was a loving happy little boy who had so much to live for.”

It added: “Little Jack loved school and his friends. Every morning, he was skipping down the road to go to play with his wee friends in his pre-school at Crumlin Integrated where he will also be sadly missed by all.”

Belfast Telegraph

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