Northern Ireland school breaks record in memory of tragic pupil Maddy-Leigh
The memory of a Co Armagh girl who died suddenly last month has been honoured after pupils and teachers at her school smashed a world record.
Staff and students at Lismore Comprehensive in Craigavon yesterday attempted a world record for the largest human Pi symbol to mark the date 3.14 and to pay tribute to of Maddy-Leigh Harbinson (11) from Lurgan.
Maddy-Leigh passed away at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital on February 18 after she developed undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes that resulted in multiple organ failure.
She had just started Year Eight at Lismore Comprehensive last September where she is remembered as "a lovely, kind, committed and positive pupil".
The current world record for the largest human Pi symbol is 847 people, achieved in Portugal on March 14 last year.
Lismore far exceeded this number yesterday when 1,170 members of the school community took part in the challenge.
However, they must now await official verification from Guinness World Records, which will take up to 12 weeks.
Yesterday's event took place on the day celebrating the mathematical constant and in partnership with Maddy-Leigh's family to also raise awareness and funds for Diabetes UK.
School principal Fiona Kane described the world record attempt as a fantastic team event after a challenging time for the school community following the death of the popular girl.
"The event was one none of us will ever forget and I believe has helped to lift us all up again," she said.
"It's hard to believe we all fitted into a Pi symbol to break a world record.
"To do so in memory of Maddy-Leigh made the event even more poignant, and as a charity fundraiser on top, all of that just typifies Lismore as a school family and what we are all about.
"I am proud as punch to be a member of this school community."
Her death is being mourned by her devastated parents Sabrina (nee McComb) and Colin Harbinson, and her brother Tristen.
In a statement released ahead of her funeral, Maddy-Leigh's family described her as a "bright, pleasant girl" who was "extremely loved".