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Family 'inconsolable' over death of little Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton (7) who was struck by car in Belfast

Child's loved ones and west Belfast community left reeling by tragedy, says priest

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Aftermath: Floral tributes are left at the scene of the fatal collision on Springhill Avenue in west Belfast

Aftermath: Floral tributes are left at the scene of the fatal collision on Springhill Avenue in west Belfast

Gerry Carroll

Gerry Carroll

/

Aftermath: Floral tributes are left at the scene of the fatal collision on Springhill Avenue in west Belfast

The family of a seven-year-old girl who died after being knocked down in west Belfast are "inconsolable", a priest has said.

A woman in her 50s was arrested, questioned and then released on police bail following the tragedy on Saturday evening.

Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton was struck by a car and died at the scene of the collision in the Upper Springfield area of the city.

People have been left in shock following the death of the little girl, the cleric and local representatives said.

"It has left many local people reeling and my thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected at this time," said councillor Steven Corr.

Kaitlin, the daughter of Andrew 'Fully' Fullerton and Jennifer McCoubrey of Sliabh Dubh View, was one of four children, all girls.

Tributes and condolences were posted by dozens of people on social media, many referring to the passing of "an angel".

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The PSNI said: "Police can confirm that seven-year-old Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton has died following a one-vehicle road traffic collision on Springhill Avenue, west Belfast, on Saturday evening."

Superintendent Gillian Kearney said: "Shortly after 6.10pm, Kaitlin was struck by a car. Tragically, she passed away at the scene.

"One person has been arrested and is assisting police with their enquiries.

"Specially trained officers are continuing to provide support to those impacted during this difficult time."

In a follow-up statement on Sunday, police said: "A woman in her 50s arrested by officers investigating the fatal road traffic collision in the Springhill Avenue area of west Belfast yesterday evening has been released on police bail pending further enquiries."

Mallon Brothers Funeral Directors, in a post, said: "Kaitlin Rose fell asleep with the Angels 3rd April 2021."

She was the "beloved daughter of Jennifer and Andrew, loving sister of Cliona, Shannon and Sophie much loved granddaughter of Jeanette McCoubrey".

Fr Paddy McCafferty said the family was well-known in the community, while the children all attended local schools.

"It's terribly difficult, there are no words to describe the tragedy that befell the family... the sheer horrific nature of what happened that came out of the blue," Fr McCafferty said.

"The family is inconsolable, the whole community, really... just an awful situation."

Fr McCafferty added that at Easter Mass on Sunday morning it was difficult to articulate how the tragedy had affected the community.

Sinn Féin's Mr Corr said: "Our local community is shocked and saddened following the loss of this very young life.

"I will liaise with the local families and community, and I appeal for the media to respect the privacy of the affected families during this very difficult time."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll said: "Absolutely heartbreaking to hear about a young person and their family impacted by a road traffic accident in west Belfast today.

"My thoughts are with the family and community trying to come to terms with this awful news."

Police are appealing for further information from people who were in the area at the time, including anyone who may have dash-cam or CCTV footage.

Meanwhile, police in Londonderry are appealing for witnesses and information after two teenage girls were struck by a hit-and-run driver.

Officers were called to Lowry's Lane, just off the Glen Road, close to the entrance of Pairc Colmcille GAA pitch, shortly after midnight on Saturday.

The girls, aged 15 and 16, were sitting on a footpath when they were struck.

They were taken to hospital for treatment for their injuries, described as not serious.

Constable Steven Toner said: "We can confirm as yet no persons have been arrested in relation to the incident and police are actively seeking to identify the driver of this vehicle.

"We are appealing for witnesses to the collision, or anyone who recalls seeing a white vehicle with a male driver prior to the collision, to get in touch as soon as possible to assist the investigation.

"In particular, we are appealing for information about a white vehicle, make and model unknown, that was present in the area at the time, and had a learner's 'L' plate on the rear window."

A motorcyclist died after a collision on Lany Road in Moira, Co Down, on Saturday afternoon involving a telehandler vehicle. The crash happened shortly after 3pm.

The victim died at the scene.

Earlier last week musician Alisdair Wallace died following a two-vehicle collision, also in Co Down.

The 63-year-old was best known as a trumpeter at pantos in the Grand Opera House.

John Linehan, aka panto star May McFettridge, described Mr Wallace as "really special" person.

"I'm shattered," the comedian said.

"Al was a very gifted musician."

Belfast Telegraph


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