Fianna Harkin: Early Years group post heartbreaking tribute to child 'who brightened everyone’s day' after mourners attend funeral of tragic 4-year-old

Fianna HarkinFianna Harkin
Fianna Harkin
Loving childcare education teachers have posted a touching tribute to Fianna Grace Harkin who ‘brightened everyone’s day when she met them, by her ‘Hello everyone’ in the morning when coming into school and kissing her Mammy and Daddy goodbye’.

On social media Early Years Ballinascreen after the youngster’s funeral posted: “Our hearts are broken today as one of our most beautiful and playful pupils has been laid to rest. Fianna Grace Harkin

"Fianna brightened everyone’s day when she met them, from her ‘Hello everyone’ in the morning when coming into school and kissing her Mammy and Daddy goodbye.

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"To the smiles and laughter as she played with all her friends. Fianna had the most infectious smile and brought out the best in everyone who was blessed with her company.

"She loved to ask questions and learn. Fianna showed kindness to all, showing great pride in all of her achievements as well with all her peers.

"She loved to plays games and get her hair done, bringing out the brush to do others hair too. ‘ I wanna be a hairdresser when I grow up’.

"During our songs and dancing she could be heard singing loud and proud, she loved to celebrate life at its fullest.

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"Fianna was a kind, beautiful and amazing friend to all the children and staff in Ballinascreen Early Years. She will forever and always hold a special place in our hearts.”

Fianna Grace funeralFianna Grace funeral
Fianna Grace funeral

The tribute was paid after hundreds of mourners heard Parish Priest Peter Madden from Saint Colomba’s in Ballinascreen, Co Londonderry, tell of his difficulty writing a sermon for the Mass of the Angels for Fianna Grace Harkin as words “can only ever be inadequate given the enormity of the tragedy that unfolded on Saturday afternoon”.

"As I mentioned at mass on Sunday morning, I had wondered all week, when we drew up the list of names to be read out on Cemetery Sunday, if there would be any more names to be added before the weekend.

"Not for a second did I think that a four-year-old child’s name would be the last to be read of those who died since Cemetery Sunday last year.”

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Adding that he is “not usually lost for words” he said he has felt “at a loss to know what to say, no more than all you have felt at a loss to know what to say”.

Funeral of Fianna GraceFuneral of Fianna Grace
Funeral of Fianna Grace

The senior cleric said: “Fianna’s family have suffered what amounts to an emotional earthquake that has completely upended their lives. “Nothing will ever be the same again.”

Rev Madden paid tribute to little Fianna for her “feisty personality” and said she “ hadn’t a shy bone in her body”.

He added that anyone at the High School Fashion Show last Thursday evening “will have seen for yourself the confidence of this young four-year-old, taking to the catwalk like she was born for it”.

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He added: “Just a few months shy of her fifth birthday, Fianna didn’t waste one minute of her short life and I think if she could speak to us now, she would tell us not to waste ours either.”

The service can be viewed on

A death notice for the child describes her as the ‘beloved daughter of Brian and Karen, sister of Cahair, Shannon, Emma and Sara’.

Earlier a PSNI spokesman said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a young child at a property in the Tirruadh Road area of Draperstown on Saturday evening, 8th June.

And a post-mortem was to be held to establish the cause of death.

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On social media, the tot’s mother Karen said: “My Beautiful Baby Girl I will love and miss you forever, mummy's Snuggle Buggle”.

Fianna had attended Ballinascreen Early Years Play Group.

And in a social media post, Ballinascreen GAC said: “Ballinasreen GAC are utterly heartbroken by the tragic and distressing death of our precious angel Fianna Grace Harkin.

"Our Club deeply appreciates the graciousness of the various county boards and teams in postponing the games, as well as the many heartfelt messages of sympathy coming in from our wider GAA family and beyond.

"There will be a Community Rosary outside the family home in Tirruadh this evening at 7.30pm.

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"Everyone here at Ballinascreen Early Years are totally heartbroken with this tragic news of the passing our pupil Fíanna Harkin.”

“She will be forever missed by all the staff and children in preschool class.”

Meanwhile another post on social media posted on Sunday said: “The Brightest star went to heaven yesterday and we are completely heartbroken.

"Fianna Grace Harkin was undoubtedly an old soul, a little granny who could buy and sell you and could strike up the best conversation with everyone she met. She kept us entertained every single day in life.

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"Fianna loved Ballinascreen club, football and all the girls. She was our little mascot and never missed a game supporting her girls.

"No one will ever make sense of this tragedy because you simply can’t. We were all blessed with four wonderful, fun filled years with an angel who has gained her wings and is now in heaven watching over her heartbroken parents, brother, sisters, family and friends

"Rest in Peace little angel. We love you so much and we will miss you forever x”

Another tribute from The Ryanna Mary Hasson Foundation yesterday said: “We ask you all to join us live at 9pm as we offer up tonights online Rosary for the Harkin family after the very sad loss of their beautiful daughter Fianna.

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"We ask our blessed Mother to wrap her arms around Fianna’s entire family and to provide them with some comfort during this very difficult time.

"We will continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers”.

A post from St. Colm's GAC, Drum says: “The club send it's deepest condolences to former player Brian Harkin on the loss of his little daughter Fianna.

"Our thoughts are also with her mother Karen, and siblings Cahair, Shannon, Emma and Sara at this heartbreaking time.

"Please keep them all in your thoughts and prayers.

"May Fianna rest in peace among the angels.”

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