Sister of tragic Mairead O'Neill tells of the pain of losing her 'beautiful best friend'

The elder sister of a top NI model who died suddenly has paid tribute to her "beautiful best friend".

In a post on social media, Bronagh Mcilvenny from Belfast posted a picture of her sister adding her personal tribute.

Mairead O'Neill

Mairead O'Neill

Mairead O'Neill who was 21-years-old and from the Markets area of Belfast had worked for CMPR Models for five years.

She died on Monday and her funeral is expected to be held tomorrow.

Also read: Mairead O’Neill funeral fundraising page raises more than £10,000 in a day

Police have said that they are not treating her death as suspicious.

Mairead's death comes months after her mum died from bowel cancer.

Yesterday, on Facebook, Bronagh described her sister as "my beautiful best friend".

She added: "I tried so hard to keep you safe but not hard enough. I stayed so strong after mum died to be there for you and look after you but I've failed you and mum and I'm sorry for that."

She added: "I tried so hard to be like mum but I know I could never be the mum she was to you. She was one of a kind and that's why you needed to be with her and back in her arms."

"I love you so much Bows and please help me be strong.

"Love you now and forever and you finally sleep tight."

Mairead's funeral will take place tomorrow.

According to her death notice she will be deeply missed by her siblings Brendan and Bronagh and wider family circle.

A GoFundMe page set up by her late mother's friend Julie Rooney to cover the costs of the funeral had raised more than £10,665 in just 24 hours.

Hazelwood Integrated College, where Mairead was a former pupil, extended its "sincere condolences" to her family online.

Posting a picture of the Mairead in her school uniform, the school wrote: "We were saddened to learn of her passing on Monday night.

"Mairead will always be remembered fondly by us here in Hazelwood.

"May she rest in peace."

Mairead's funeral will take place at 1pm tomorrow at St Malachy's Church on Belfast's Alfred Street.

This will be followed by a service at Roselawn Crematorium at 3pm.

To donate to the fundraising campaign to cover Mairead's funeral costs, visit: www.gofundme.com/maireads-funeral