Northern Ireland news

Young teacher who died following tragic accident at home was 'full of life, love, compassion and beauty'

P2 teacher Fionnuala Kennedy died on Monday

A MOTHER-OF-ONE who died following a tragic accident at her home has been described as "so full of life, love, compassion and beauty".

Fionnuala Kennedy, who was originally from west Belfast and in her late 20s, is understood to have fallen at her home on Saturday.

She passed away in hospital on Monday surrounded by her loving family, including partner Ciaran Hughes.

A P2 teacher at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School on the Glen Road and the mother of a young boy, it is understood she was due to get married next year.

Her tragic death has left her family, friends and the school community heartbroken with hundreds of tributes paid to the young woman, who is believed to be originally from the Glen Road area, but had moved to Lisburn.

Fionnuala Kennedy

Many tributes have described her "infectious smile" and others praised her as a "wonderful teacher".

Paddy McCabe, principal of St Oliver Plunkett PS, last night spoke of the shock at the death of a "caring and considerate young woman".

"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," he said.

"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.

"As a school community 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."

Fionnuala Kennedy

Mr McCabe had shared the devastating news of Ms Kennedy's passing following a "tragic accident at home" in a statement posted on the school Facebook page.

"Death at any stage is an unspeakable tragedy but the death of one so young, so full of life, love, compassion and beauty only compounds it further," he told parents.

The school has opened a book of condolence for the young teacher, which Mr McCabe said will be passed onto her family.

Friends and work colleagues have been among those to pay tribute to Ms Kennedy in numerous tributes posted online.

One pal wrote that her "heart is completely broke".

"You truly are one in a million and you have left a million memories that we can cherish forever," she said.

Another friend also said: "Life can be so unbelievably cruel. Absolutely heartbroken Fionnuala Kennedy rest in peace, I’ll never forget that smile".

One colleague described her as "the most beautiful girl".

It is understood Fionnuala Kennedy was due to get married next year

"Her smile lit up the room and she was an amazing teacher, so proud to have been her classroom assistant in St Oliver Plunkett," she said.

A woman, whose daughter was taught by Ms Kennedy, said she was "adored" by her pupils.

"Absolutely heartbreaking words don't even cover the loss," she said.

A former colleague also said: "Fionnuala was a very special teacher who was loved by everyone who knew her.

"The many children she taught will always remember her for her infectious smile and great sense of humour."

Requiem Mass for Ms Kennedy will be celebrated at St Teresa's Church on Friday at 11am followed by burial at Blaris Cemetery, Lisburn.

She was a teacher at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School in west Belfast

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