Sympathies have been extended to the family of a disabled child who died on Christmas Day, and whose funeral will be on New Year’s Eve.
Odhran Varney, aged five and from Glengormley in Newtownabbey, died in hospital on Sunday, hours after becoming unwell.
He had Down’s syndrome. He was a pupil at Hill Croft School.
UUP councillor Jim Bingham sits on its board of governors.
Speaking to the Newtownabbey Times, he said: “It is a difficult time for everyone who knew Odhran and I offer my condolences to them.
“I know how they feel because my daughter passed away before Christmas six years ago. I’m thinking about them at this time.”
Alliance councillor John Blair said: “It’s tragic and extremely sad for the family, those who Odhran went to school with, his teachers, and everyone else who knew him.
“I hope the family will find some comfort from the fact that those of us who represent the community will be thinking of them.”
Johnny Finnegan, who set up a fundraising page for the family, said the child’s relatives had been “overwhelmed” by the “generosity shown by every person that has taken the time to donate and leave heartwarming messages”.
A notice on the Funeral Times website lists the funeral as being at 9.30am on Saturday in St Bernard’s Church, Glengormley.