Schoolgirl Evan Cromie (12) was full of potential and promise, mourners told
Family and friends of a 12-year-old girl who died in tragic circumstances paid their final respects at her funeral on Saturday.
Mourners heard Evan Cromie described as a "bubbly young lady" who was "full of potential and promise".
The service took place in Christ Church, Carrowdore, in Co Down, where Rev Colin Davis paid a moving tribute to the schoolgirl.
He said: "No words can adequately express or in any way alleviate the tragedy that has brought us here today."
Evan had been found dead after being reported missing from her Carrowdore home the previous weekend.
Schoolfriends from Carrowdore Primary School and Strangford College attended the service, where Evan's sister Atlanta read a poem she had written in her memory.
Rev Davis told mourners: "Over the last few days various people have shared with me their thoughts, memories and feelings for wee Evan.
"An overriding theme is one of a bubbly young lady, open and honest, she didn't like people being two-faced, but was a sharp and smart girl, full of potential and promise.
"It may be that this makes today all the more difficult, but it also reminds us of the fragility of life and the need for us all to be more aware and open with each other."
The Church of Ireland rector revealed that Evan's school friends had told him she was a young girl who initially was quite quiet, but had developed confidence during her P7 year.
He added: "She was always willing to help out and please others, getting on well with younger pupils, her own class mates and teachers as well.
"She told the truth and said it like it was, even if this got her into trouble.
"But she also had a sensitive side, looking out for others and didn't like people being treated unfairly."
The clergyman expressed the family's thanks to everyone who had supported, visited and comforted them in the days since Evan's death and said: "I hope that through our love and memories of Evan we can also become more aware of the need to be there for each other.
"The world isn't perfect and the systems don't always get it right, but help and hope is there for all, be it at home, among friends, at school or at work. Above all, we can remember that God loves us and wants the best for us and will help us if we let him."
The family was struck by tragedy seven years ago when Evan's sister Saffron died in hospital at the age of 17.
Following the service, her remains were taken to Roselawn crematorium.
A GoFundMe page has raised more than £3,700.
If you are affected by issues in this article, contact the Samaritans free on 116123 or Lifeline on 0808 808 8000