Newry schoolgirl Abbie Nummy a kind and caring pupil, says principal
A school principal has paid a moving tribute to a young pupil who died after an accident on a farm.
Iestyn Brown, of Newry High School, described 14-year-old Abbie Nummy as an "exceptionally gentle, kind and caring" student.
The accident took place in the rural Bernish area, close to the border near Newry, on Saturday afternoon.
Emergency services - including the Air Ambulance - frantically attempted to save the young girl's life at the scene, but she passed away.
A funeral service will be held today at St Mary's Parish Church in Newry at 1pm.
Abbie is survived by her parents, Andrew and Lorna, and siblings Jamie and Darcie.
Offering his deepest condolences to the Nummy family, Mr Brown said that Abbie's classmates and friends have been left "heartbroken" by the student's death.
"The entire Newry High School community is deeply shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of our Year 10 pupil Abbie Nummy," he said.
Mr Brown added that Abbie was a "very popular, conscientious and talented pupil" whose loss will be greatly felt by everyone at the school.
"She was exceptionally gentle, kind and caring. She will be very much missed in school by her fellow pupils and staff alike, and will be remembered with great love and affection by all those who knew her."
Mr Brown added: "Abbie's wide circle of friends and classmates are heartbroken by her untimely loss and are being supported by staff and relevant professionals.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Abbie's family at this tragic time and we extend our sincere sympathy and condolences to them."
Echoing the messages of condolence, Newry and Armagh DUP MLA William Irwin said the death of the teenager was a "terrible tragedy" for the local community.
"There are no words to describe just how difficult this situation is and the time of year makes it all the more tragic," said Mr Irwin.
"Losing a loved one in any circumstance is so tragic but to lose a child is so devastating."
He continued: "I trust the Nummy family will know the support and comfort of the wider community in the days ahead."
Meanwhile, the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland is continuing its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Abbie's tragic death.
A spokesperson confirmed that its investigators had attended the scene.
Official figures show seven people died in farming accidents in Northern Ireland during 2018/19, with the same number of fatalities recorded in 2017/18.
The PSNI said a report is to be prepared for the coroner's inquest into the teenager's death, which will be held at a later stage.
Hundreds of mourners are expected to attend Abbie's funeral this afternoon.
Following the service, the young teenager will be laid to rest in Presbyterian Cemetery, Newry.
A funeral notice said Abbie would be "lovingly remembered by her sorrowing dad, mum, brother, sister, grandparents, uncles, aunts and entire family circle".
The Nummy family have appealed for privacy.
They requested, in lieu of flowers, for donations to be made to the Air Ambulance charity in Abbie's memory.
Donations can be made via John M Murdoch Funeral Director, Brookside, 125 Armagh Road, Newry BT35 6PU.