Northern Ireland news

Tributes paid to popular Irish language activist Aoife Ní Riain

Irish language activist Aoife Ní Riain, who died suddenly last week.

IRISH language activist and musician Aoife Ní Riain, has been described as a "gentle kind and thoughtful person" following her sudden death last week.

Members of the Irish language community lined the Falls Road in west Belfast yesterday as a mark for respect for her funeral.

Pupils and staff of Coláiste Feirste, where the mother-of-three's sons had all been former pupils, applauded as the hearse passed the school.

Outside the Irish language cultural centre, An Chultúrlann, a traditional band played as family members in the cortege paused for respects to be paid.

A talented musician, Ms Ní Riain had been well known on the traditional music scene, and had her own show on Raidió Fáilte.

Her three sons Ainle, Cairbre, and Naoise Ó Cairealláin were comforted by friends throughout the funeral.

Naoise is best known for fronting the popular Irish rap group, Kneecap.

Originally from Dublin, Ms Ní Riain moved to west Belfast in the 1980s and had worked as a librarian at Belfast Central Library.

Raidió Fáilte manager Fergus O’Hare described is colleague as a "gentle kind and thoughtful person, always considerate and helpful to her work colleagues and volunteers".

"Aoife will be sadly missed and fondly remembered at Raidió Fáilte by the directors, staff, volunteers and by the many listeners to her popular radio show.”

Naomh Pól GAC posted online: “The committee and members of CLG Naomh Pól wish to express our deepest sympathy to members Ainle, Cairbre and Naoise Ó Cairealláin on the passing of their mother Aoife Ní Riain.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you all and the wider family circle.”

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