Belfast Telegraph

‘Unique and sweet-natured little boy’ Ryan Busa laid to rest

By Brett Campbell

Tributes have been paid to a "unique and sweet-natured little boy" who lost his life in a tragic incident involving the family dog in Glengormley last Sunday.

More than 100 mourners gathered outside 11-year-old Ryan Busa's family home on Queen's Avenue yesterday afternoon on what the Rev Ivan Neish described as "a day of sorrow".

"Ryan was loved by his entire family, everyone at his school and by this community and we will all be aware of his absence," he said.

The Abbotts Cross Presbyterian minister described Ryan as "a special person whose life was all too brief" as he admitted finding it hard to put his thoughts into words.

"Words are so inadequate to comfort this family and we cannot answer the question of why," he added. "We live in a broken world and tragedy is never far away, but that is of no consolation today."

Dozens of bouquets lined the family home alongside two teddy bears and a solitary balloon which had been pinned to the fence.

The principal of Ashgrove Primary School, Robert Smith, described how all the staff took a shine to Ryan as soon as he joined the school family in P2.

"His first report describes him as a sweet-natured little boy with good manners and someone who is a real credit to his family, this certainly remained true in the years that followed," he said.

"Ryan was a one-off and won everyone over, even the dinner ladies, with his unique way - his best qualities were his friendliness and care-free nature. He loved to dish out compliments and receive them in return - he did it with a twinkle in his big brown eyes and he was always laughing."

Mr Smith broke down after reading warm and personal tributes from grieving classmates.

"If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I would walk right up to heaven and bring you home again," one pupil wrote.

The school head also told of Ryan's "pride and loyalty" when it came to his family.

Mark Busa wept as he carried his son's white coffin from the home before Ryan was laid to rest in Carnmoney Cemetery. His partner, Donna Thomas, carried a white rose as she led the procession.

The fate of the family's German Shepherd dog is not yet known and the police investigation is ongoing.

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