Heartbreak for two schools after young teacher’s death

Fionnuala Kennedy
Fionnuala Kennedy

A Primary School in Belfast has opened a book of condolences following the death of a young teacher in a “tragic accident at home” on Saturday.

Fionnuala Kennedy, a mother-of-one, was a primary two teacher at St Oliver Plunkett Primary School on the Glen Road.

Fionnuala Kennedy

Fionnuala Kennedy

She passed away on Monday following the accident, reported to have been a fall at home.

Principal of St Oliver Plunkett Primary School, Patrick McCabe, said: “Words cannot begin to convey the heartbreak we feel.

“Death at any stage is an unspeakable tragedy but the death of one so young, so full of life, love, compassion and beauty only compounds it further.

“I would ask that you keep Fionnuala, her family and friends in your prayers and thoughts.”

Fionnuala Kennedy

Fionnuala Kennedy

He continued: “As ever, I want to thank you for your continued support, in times like these it is particularly appreciated.”

Writing on Facebook, in response to hundreds of messages of condolences, Fionnuala’s sister Eimer said: “I would like to thank the school, the pupils and my sister’s work collegues for the support they have shown. It means a lot. We are very thankful for you all.”

Mr McCabe later announced a book of condolences had been opened at the school.

“It is stationed in the main entrance of the school,” Mr McCabe said.

“We have been so taken with the comments on the school Facebook site and you can see that Miss Kennedy’s family have stated that they are deeply appreciative of your support at this tragic time.

“It is our intention to pass the Book of Condolences on to her family at an appropriate time.”

He added: “This is a young, wonderful life taken too soon.

“Again, I wish to reiterate just how much your kind words, support and understanding mean to the whole school family but particularly to the family of Fionnuala.”

St Teresa’s Primary School, where her son Lorcan attended, said in a statement: “Fionnuala was often teaching here in St Teresa’s PS as a substitute teacher and also worked in our Whizz Kidz Club during the summer months.

“We, the school community of St Teresa’s PS wish to send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr Hughes, Lorcan and Fionnuala’s entire family circle at this most difficult time. I would ask for the whole school community to recite our school prayer written by St Teresa of Avila at home, in honour of Fionnuala.

St Teresa of Avila, Pray for her.”

Requiem Mass for Ms Kennedy will be celebrated at St Teresa’s Church on Friday followed by burial at Blaris Cemetery, Lisburn.