Belfast Telegraph

Funeral of headmaster Simon Harper to take place next week

Simon Harper's funeral service will be held next Tuesday, April 30, at 1.30pm in Loughinisland Parish Church, Seaforde, followed by a strictly private committal (stock photo)
Simon Harper's funeral service will be held next Tuesday, April 30, at 1.30pm in Loughinisland Parish Church, Seaforde, followed by a strictly private committal (stock photo)
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

The funeral of the principal of Portadown College will take place next week, his family have announced.

Simon Harper (57) died suddenly on Good Friday while on a walking holiday in Scotland.

Originally from Banbridge, Mr Harper had been the principal of Portadown College for 10 years, having previously served as headmaster at Rathfriland High School.

Mr Harper began his career in 1984 as a chemistry teacher at Wallace High School in Lisburn before moving to Regent House School in Newtownards, where he later was appointed head of chemistry.

He then was appointed to the principal's post at Rathfriland.

Mr Harper is survived by his partner, Catherine, brothers, Paul and Stephen, and wider family circle.

His funeral service will be held next Tuesday, April 30, at 1.30pm in Loughinisland Parish Church, Seaforde, followed by a strictly private committal.

Ireland and Ulster rugby captain, Rory Best, a former Portadown College pupil, was among those who offered his condolences to Mr Harper's family.

Former Education Minister, Peter Weir, said Mr Harper had played a "crucial role" in Northern Ireland's education system and had "a strong, burning desire in his heart to preserve the best of education for all our young people".

Tributes have also been paid to Mr Harper by his former colleagues at Portadown College and Rathfriland High School, who have remembered him as "a strong educational leader".

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