Village at standstill for funeral of swim tragedy teen
The funeral has taken place in Scarva of the teenager who died in an outdoor swimming tragedy in the village on Monday.
Tandragee Junior High School pupil Jay Moffett got into difficulties at Canal Court and could not be saved despite a dramatic rescue attempt.
The 13-year-old was laid to rest at Banbridge New Cemetery following a funeral service outside his Scarva Heights home at 1pm on Friday.
As requested by Jay’s family, the hundreds who gathered to pay their respects wore white and light-coloured clothing.
Scarva’s Church of Ireland rector Rev Rodney Magennis was among the mourners.
“The whole community was there,” he said.
“I’m struggling to get my head around it, but it really is a struggle.
“There was just a real sombre feel about the village this morning.”
Rev Magennis said it was always particularly shocking when young people die suddenly, and added: “People naturally think that it’s just not the natural order. Parents shouldn’t be buring their children.”
Ahead of the funeral service, a statement by Loughbrickland, Donaghmore and Scarva Church of Ireland said: “As a church in the heart of Scarva village we are deeply saddened by the tragic death of a 13-year-old boy in a local lake.
“It is a tragic event to happen in such a beautiful village and everyone is feeling the shock of it all.”
Earlier this week, the Moffett family said: Jay’s family said: “We are heartbroken by the loss of our beautiful Jay. He was a much loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin who lit up the lives of everyone who knew him in his 13 years.”
Jay, who was a keen boxer with the Tullylish club, was recovered from the water by his dad Wayne and some friends with help from the NI Fire and Rescue Service.
He was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital but did not survive the ordeal.
In statement, Tandrgee Junior High described Jay’s death as particularly poignant, and described him as a “helpful and pleasant pupil” who “will be deeply missed by pupils and staff”.
Writing on the school’s Facebook page, teacher Mr K Gale said: “Absolutely heartbreaking news about Jay. Such a good lad who always brought a smile to everyone’s face.
“Deepest sympathy and prayers to Jay’s family and friends. No words are enough right now but know that you are being surrounded by love. Thoughts also to the other young people who were with Jay at the time.”