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Family left ‘heartbroken’ by death of schoolboy in Co Down lake tragedy

Jay Moffett, 13, died following the incident at the Canal Court area of Scarva on Monday

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13-year-old Jay Moffett, who died after getting intro trouble after entering a lake in Scarva (PSNI)

13-year-old Jay Moffett, who died after getting intro trouble after entering a lake in Scarva (PSNI)

13-year-old Jay Moffett, who died after getting intro trouble after entering a lake in Scarva (PSNI)

The family of a schoolboy who died after getting into trouble in a lake in Co Down have said they are heartbroken by the tragedy.

Jay Moffett, 13, died following the incident at the Canal Court area of Scarva on Monday.

Emergency services, including the PSNI, air ambulance and the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS), attended the scene.

The teenager was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital, where he later died.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious.

A statement released by the Moffett family said: “We are heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Jay.

“He was a much loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin who lit up the lives of everyone who knew him in his 13 years.

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“We are grateful for the support we have received at this terrible time and would ask that we now be given the space to grieve in private.”

Jay's potential was boundless, he enjoyed school and would have no doubt achieved further successWayne Brown, Principal of Tandragee Junior High School

Jay was a pupil Tandragee Junior High School. Principal Wayne Brown said he would be “deeply missed”.

In a statement released on behalf of the board of governors, staff and pupils, Mr Brown said: “It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of one of our Year 9 pupils, Jay Moffett.

“Jay’s death is particularly poignant. He has always been a popular, helpful and very pleasant pupil and will be deeply missed by pupils and staff.

“Jay was a particularly talented artist, a valued and loyal member of his form class, 9EG, and an exemplary citizen of our school.

“Jay’s potential was boundless, he enjoyed school and would have no doubt achieved further success upon completion of study at Key Stage Three.”

The statement continued: “As a school community we are truly heartbroken and our thoughts, prayers and support are focused on the Moffett family, the extended family circle and Jay’s friends at this extremely sad time.”

The schoolboy was also involved in amateur boxing. Tullylish Amateur Boxing Club offered its condolences to the boy’s family in a Facebook post.

All of us at the club pass on our sincerest condolences. Rest easy Jay, we will all miss that big smileTullyish ABC

It said: “Tullylish ABC are deeply saddened following the tragic and untimely passing of our much loved club member Jay Moffett.

“All of us at the club pass on our sincerest condolences. Rest easy Jay, we will all miss that big smile.”

Reverend Rodney Magennis of Loughbrickland, Donaghmore and Scarva Church of Ireland, opened St Matthew’s church in Scarva on Monday as a space for people to reflect on the tragedy.

Rev Magennis said: “As a church in the heart of Scarva village we are deeply saddened by the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy in a local lake.

“We offer to his family and friends our prayerful love and support in the days that are to come.

“It is a tragic event to happen in such a beautiful village and everyone is feeling the shock of it all, so to this end I am opening St. Matthew’s Parish Church of Ireland from 3pm until 6pm for anyone who would like somewhere to go, to sit in the quietness and pray for this family who are going through this dreadful time.”

Please remember the family in your prayers as they come to terms with this harrowing tragedyCarla Lockhart

Floral tributes have been left at the scene close to where the teenager entered the lake.

Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said: “It is devastating news to hear of another family plunged into sorrow after the death of a young teenage boy at the Canal Court area of Scarva village.

“Please remember the family in your prayers as they come to terms with this harrowing tragedy.

“To the emergency services and anyone else who assisted, thank you.”


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