Tributes paid to teenager John Irwin who died suddenly

City of Armagh High School
City of Armagh High School

Tributes have poured in for tragic 16-year-old John Irwin who died suddenly yesterday.

The Year 12 pupil at the City of Armagh High School died on the same day as the school’s former head girl Lesley-Ann McCarragher was laid to rest.

The teenager had collapsed at the school on Tuesday.

In a Facebook post the City of Armagh High School said: “We at City of Armagh High School mourn the sudden death of John Irwin, one of our year 12 pupils. John was a much loved and highly respected member of our school community who will be missed by all of us.

We are deeply saddened by this great loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s family at this tragic time, we extend to them our sincerest sympathy and support.”

In another post a friend of the teenager’s said: “Rip John❤ Such a lovely young caring fella to have known, Will miss all are wee conversations filled with laughter.You will be missed so much❤ Thoughts and Prayers go out to the Irwin family and friends”

Meanwhile, another post read: “Rip john❤, was only talking to you a few hours before, most caring fella I’ve ever met,brighten up my days✨thoughts and prayers go out to the Irwin family❣”.

Danny Kennedy, the Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate, said the community had been stunned to learn of John’s death.

“This is another terrible tragedy to impact on a family in the Armagh area and the thoughts and prayers of the entire community will be with the family and friends of John Irwin at this difficult time,” he said.

“Coming so soon after the tragic death of Lesley-Ann McCarragher, the local community, and in particular the young people of this area, are stunned at news of the sudden death of John.”

Councillor Sam Nicholson said this was “devastating news for a well-known and respected family”.

He added: “I want to offer my sincere sympathy to the entire Irwin and Frazer families, who I know well.

“I know the local community will support the family at this very difficult time, and the family are very grateful for the support they have received from the City of Armagh High School, the medical teams and the pastoral support offered by local clergy. Another young life has been cut short.”

Mr Kennedy and Mr Nicholson visited the family home yesterday, along with Councillor Gordon Speers. John’s grandfather Gordon Frazer had previously served with Mr Speers on Armagh City & District Council.

Drumhillery Primary School, which John formerly attended, has said the Beetle Drive organised for Friday night has been cancelled as a mark of respect to the family.