Principal's moving tribute to Lisburn teacher Fionnuala Kennedy who died after fall
The principal of a west Belfast primary school has paid tribute to one of his teachers for her "commitment to her children" ahead of her funeral tomorrow.
Mother-of-one Fionnuala Kennedy (28) passed away in hospital on Monday afternoon surrounded by her family.
She died as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at her home in Lisburn on Saturday.
Originally from west Belfast, she was a past pupil of St Dominic's High School and St Mary's University College.
She was a Year Two teacher at St Oliver Plunkett Primary, where head Paddy McCabe said the school community had been left heartbroken by the tragedy.
He told the Belfast Telegraph: "Fionnuala's commitment to her children, her parents and the whole school family will live long in the memory, but not as long as her smile and infectious laugh. As a school family we are devastated for Fionnuala's family.
"The shock we are feeling as a school community pales into complete insignificance compared to the grief of her family. Words cannot begin to express our sense of loss, our anguish and confusion, as this was a life taken too soon; a life so full of vitality, of love; a caring and considerate young woman."
There has also been an outpouring of support for Ms Kennedy's family and colleagues on social media.
Hundreds of tributes have been posted online by colleagues and parents, who described her as "a beautiful, caring girl" and "gifted teacher".
Mr McCabe said a book of condolence for Ms Kennedy has been opened at the school as staff have been "so taken with the comments on the school Facebook site". The book will be passed on to her family.
Her death is also being mourned at neighbouring St Teresa's PS, where her partner Ciaran Hughes is a P5 teacher and her young son Lorcan is a pupil in the P3 class.
Ms Kennedy's remains are currently lying in repose at her late home at Linen Green in Lisburn.
Her funeral will leave from there tomorrow at 10.15am for 11am Requiem Mass in St Teresa's Church followed by burial at Blaris cemetery in Lisburn.
She is survived by her Ciaran, Lorcan, parents Fiona and Paul, sisters Caoimhe and Eimer, brothers Paul and Eamonn, niece Rioghnach and the wider family circle.