THE FAMILY of Noah Donohoe have described the Belfast teenager as “very special” boy who enjoyed a “special bond” with loving mother.
It follows the sad discovery of the 14-year-old's body in a storm drain in north Belfast on Saturday.
In their first statement to the media, his family expressed “heartfelt gratitude” for the community’s ongoing support during this difficult time.
They went on to explain how “it is hard to do justice or honour the extraordinary relationship Noah and his mummy shared”, adding “They were each other’s world.”
The full statement reads:
“We need to express our heartfelt gratitude for the support, outpouring of love and empathy we have received. From walking with us, both physically and spiritually, to feeling our pain, we recognise that everyone has lost Noah.
“Noah’s mummy always told him that he would change the world. He was very special. It’s very hard to do justice or honour the extraordinary relationship Noah and his mummy shared. In his 14 years, his mummy got so much from their special bond, he taught his mummy so much. They were each other’s world.
“Noah loved his school and his friends at school, and we know that they will be grieving too and they need to say goodbye too.
“Eventually, we will come back to people individually to express our overwhelming gratitude. From Fiona and the entire family circle, we wish to say, thank you, to each and everyone of you from the bottom of our hearts.”
The family arrangements for Noah’s funeral have yet to be finalised.
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The whole College family mourns the tragic loss of our young Malachian, Noah Donohoe. Noah embraced fully all aspects of school life. He was an active and prominent member of the Music Department, and as a talented young cellist, Noah was able to enhance the lives of his fellow performers and also many an audience. He was a natural leader who led by example. His caring nature, calm demeanour and big smile were some of his great gifts that helped others do their best. He was also a keen basketball and rugby player both in and out of school. He has been described as the perfect gentleman who was also able to show a genuine competitive spirit on the court. One of his teachers and coach said that Noah had a heart of a lion being able to express himself on the pitch, shouting, laughing and having fun with his friends whilst in class he was normally measured and modest. In his short three years at St Malachy’s, Noah received much recognition and numerous awards for his contribution and dedication to College life. These include “The Spirit of the College Award”, full attendance, class prizes and UK Maths Challenge success. The College has been blessed to have had such an outstanding student and person as a most valued member of our family, one who was already exhibiting the characteristics of a true Malachian, finding and doing his best by living our motto “Gloria ab intus”. We know that Noah was always immensely proud to represent the College and we benefitted greatly from his talents, presence, participation and warm personality. We are all deeply saddened at Noah’s passing away, and we offer prayers for and support to his mother, Fiona, family members, friends and also his extended family - all of us associated with St Malachy’s College. Noah will always be a treasured member of our Malachian family. May Noah rest in peace. 🖤💚
In a separate statement, the Principal St Malachy’s College, Paul McBride said the entire school body mourned the loss of Noah who was a popular student at the school.
”Noah embraced all aspects of school life. He was an active and prominent member of the Music Department and as a talented young cellist, Noah was able to enhance the lives of his fellow-performers and also many an audience.
“He was a natural leader who led by example. His caring nature, calm demeanour and big smile were some of the gifts that helped others to do their best.”
In a show of respect and mourning the community met at Grove Playing Fields in memory of Noah.
Several nembers of the search and rescue team (below) who had battled to find Noah following his disappearance last Sunday were applauded as they entered the park.
Donohue had been the subject of a huge search operation after disappearing last Sunday, June 21.
Noah was last seen in the Shore Road region of north Belfast around 6.11pm that night where he was also spotted falling off his bike and acting strangely.
That sighting has led police to believe he may have sustained a head injury in the fall.