Northern Ireland news

Tributes to 'bubbly' Co Armagh schoolgirl Maddy-Leigh Harbinson (11) following sudden death

Maddy-Leigh Harbinson (11) was a Year 8 pupil at Lismore Comprehensive School
Marie Louise McConville

A YOUNG schoolgirl who died suddenly has been remembered as a "pleasant, quiet and hard-working" pupil.

Maddy-Leigh Harbinson (11) from Lurgan died at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Monday.

She was a Year 8 pupil at Lismore Comprehensive School, which last night paid tribute.

Principal Fiona Kane described her as "a very pleasant, quiet and hard-working student who made a tremendous contribution to the life and work of Lismore in such a short period of time".

"She raised £200 for charity last term in aid of Multiple Sclerosis and was recognised for this outstanding achievement," she said.

Posting on its Facebook page, the school said it was "saddened" to learn of her death.

The post said the school would be "open after the funeral service for anyone who would like to come together".

It added: "On return to school after midterm break, support will be available for both students and staff. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harbinson family and Maddy-Leigh’s friends at this time."

Carrick Primary School in Lurgan also paid tribute on Facebook.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the staff and pupils of Lismore Comprehensive School on the death of Year 8 pupil Maddy-Leigh Harbinson. Maddy-Leigh was a pupil at Carrick Primary School until P4 and staff remember her with great fondness. We offer our sincere condolences and prayers to her family."

Crossroads Youth Week also said it was "devastated".

"A lovely, kind wee girl," a post read.

DUP assembly Carla Lockhart said: "This is devastating news for little Maddy-Leigh’s family, friends and the local community. A bubbly 11-year-old girl with everything to live for cut off in the prime of life."

"Having spoken to the family they are just distraught and in a state of shock. I know that there will be strong family and community support to help carry the Harbinson and McCombe family through this tragedy," she said.

Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow at noon at St Anthony's Church in Craigavon. Burial will take place afterwards in Lurgan Cemetery.

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