Northern Ireland news

Year 8 pupil Luke Lawson remembered as a 'beautiful boy with a big personality'

Luke's father Barry Lawson posted a series of picture of him, including one standing proudly outside their home in his school uniform, with the poignant message `My sunshine, my best friend'

Hundreds of tributes have poured in to a "kind, caring" and "bubbly" young boy who has died unexpectedly at his family home.

Luke Lawson from the Co Down village of Bleary died on Saturday at the house in the Markville housing development

His father Barry Lawson posted a series of pictures of him, including one standing proudly outside their home in his school uniform, with the poignant message 'My sunshine, my best friend'.

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Lismore Comprehensive School in Craigavon, where Luke was in his first year, led the condolences on social media to his parents Leeanne and Barry and siblings Emma and Corey.

In a statement the school said it was "saddened to learn of the tragic and untimely death of our Year 8 student Luke Lawson".

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Lawson family and extended family circle at this time. Luke was a valued member of the Lismore community and his smile and bubbly personality will be missed by us all."

His home economics teacher Catherine Murtagh said it was "devastating news".

"In the short time I knew Luke in Lismore, he was a friendly and polite young man," she said.

"We will miss your bubbly personality and friendship, RIP Luke. My heartfelt condolences to the Lawson family and all those who had the pleasure of knowing Luke."

Luke Lawson from the Co Down village of Bleary died on Saturday

Moira Youth FC offered the family "our full support at this incredibly difficult time".

"We were devastated to learn today of the tragic death of Moira Youth player Luke Lawson," the club said in a statement.

"Luke always played with a smile on his face and will be remembered for his positive attitude by all the team mates and coaches who had the privilege to know him."

Staff at the school said he was "a beautiful young man with the most lovely smile personality and manners... (who) always had a smile on his face and a cheery greeting any time he passed".

Luke Lawson from the Co Down village of Bleary died on Saturday

Learning assistant Shiree Byrne said she was "absolutely devastated to hear this news".

"Luke was a beautiful boy with a big personality. He was the life and soul of his class. He will be sorely missed."

Friends spoke of their heartbreak and recalled how "his laugh was just the best", how he made them smile and his "kind, caring personality".

Laureen O'Hagan said he "had the biggest smile and the most bubbly personality, always a laugh to be had anytime I spoke to him - he was just the nicest boy".

Neighbour Barry Hylands said the development "just got a lot quieter and emptier".

"Luke was a real wee character. Always out playing on his bike or with his football. He always seemed to enjoy himself whatever he was doing.

"This is so sad and our hearts are broken at this news. Thoughts are with his family and friends."

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