City weeps for Noah Donohoe as his funeral is due to take place - youngster ‘met the world with love’

Today schoolboy Noah Donohoe will be laid to rest after a private funeral in Belfast.

Wednesday, 1st July 2020, 8:50 am
Fiona Donohoe and her beloved son, Noah.

Noah’s funeral will take place at 11am in St Patrick’s Church on Donegall Street.

The funeral for the youngster will be strictly private at the request of his family due to coronavirus restrictions.

A pastoral message from St Patrick’s Church, Belfast - where the funeral will take place - posted yestersay on soaial media says: “The priests and parishioners of St Patrick’s Church, Donegall Street, Belfast, share the grief expressed by so many in the last days at the death of Noah Donahoe and express our sincere sympathy to his mother, Fiona, and all the members of his family.

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“Noah was an extraordinary and gifted young man – a genuine all-rounder with a questing mind, a love of sport and a sense of beauty that was evident to all who knew him.

“His natural graciousness and the gift of friendship he gave to many are a tribute to his character. Under the guidance of his beloved mother,

“Fiona, Noah Donahoe met the world with love; and those who met him were changed by their encounter with this gentle young man”.

The post adds that “as a schoolboy at St Malachy’s College – located within the parish – Noah became part of that great family whose association with St Patrick’s Church began at its foundation and continues to the present day”.

“Noah and Fiona loved St Patrick’s.

“They came here often finding solace in the calm space washed by over two hundred years of prayer.

“Since last week, the whole parish has united its prayers to Fiona’s and her family’s and those of countless people of faith in this city and beyond”.

The post added that “we are humbled that St Patrick’s in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, which has been a refuge for Fiona in these days of sorrow, should have been chosen as the place for Noah’s Requiem Mass. We assure her of our continued prayers.

Earlier this weel hundreds volunteers had joined the PSNI and the Community Rescue Service (CRS) in Northern Ireland in the search for Noah.

CRS regional commander Sean McCarry - who led the rescue team - said it had been the first time in 13 years of the organisation that people had so publicly demonstrated their appreciation for their efforts.

Health Minister Robin Swann and Chief Medical officer Dr Michael McBride both paid tribute to Noah during yesterday’s Executive Covid-19 briefing.

“Like many I didn’t know Noah or his family,” the Health Minister said.

“But when the news started to filter through that a young boy was missing there was hardly a person in Northern Ireland, or a parent that didn’t follow the search and hope and pray that he would be found safe and well.

“Sadly that wasn’t to be.

“My thoughts are with Noah’s family and school friends at this deeply distressing time.”

Dr McBride said that “for anyone to lose a family member, particularly a child, is deeply distressing”.

“To lose such a life is an absolute tragedy,” he continued.

“As a parent, a father, I like everyone else in Northern Ireland felt a deep sense of sadness at the recent news.” The discovery of Noah’s body came after a week of police appeals and painstaking searches, at one point involving hundreds of members of the public.

The family of Noah Donohoe have asked for donations in lieu of flowers to Northern Ireland Action for Children, care of O’Kane’s Funeral Directors.

And in his death notice, the family said “love has no boundaries” and that their son’s love reached “the selfless hearts of north Belfast and beyond as they showed overwhelming compassion and empathy in bringing Noah home”.

“Noah’s beautiful pure young soul fills the hearts of his mother Fiona, his aunts Niamh and Shona and their beautiful children and his uncle Gearoid.”

At the closing of the post from Fr Eugene O’Neill, Parish Priest of St Patrick’s,

Fr Tony McAleese, Curate of St Patrick’s, there is a message from Fiona Donohoe.

It says: “At Fiona’s request, we share a message from her: “No words can express our thanks to all the people for their support and for taking Noah to their hearts. At the time of the funeral, I want everyone to be at home with their children. Embrace them and cherish them, for every moment with them is precious.”


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Alistair Bushe