HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to a young Irish teacher who died this week following a tragic accident at her home.
Mother-of-one Fionnuala Kennedy passed away on Monday afternoon as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at her home in Lisburn, west Belfast on Saturday.
The popular Year Two teacher at Belfast's St Oliver Plunkett Primary School has been remembered as "so young, so full of life, love, compassion and beauty".
Sharing the news of Ms Kennedy's untimely death, principal Patrick McCabe said the school community had been left heartbroken by the tragedy.
"Death at any stage is an unspeakable tragedy, but the death of one so young, so full of life, love, compassion and beauty only compounds it further," he said in a statement.
"This is a young, wonderful life taken too soon. I would ask that you keep Fionnuala, her family and friends in your prayers and thoughts."
A book of condolence has opened at St. Oliver Plunkett Primary in Belfast, following the death of Year Two Teacher Fionnuala Kennedy. The mother-of-one died in hospital on Monday, as a result of injuries it’s believed she sustained in a fall at her home on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/ZcJccfwbTr
— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) November 14, 2018
Hundreds of others tributes have been posted on social media by colleagues, students and parents in the community who described Ms Kennedy as "a ray of sunshine".
The teacher, whose partner Ciaran Hughes taught at neighbouring St Teresa's Primary School where their son Lorcan was also a pupil, is to be commemorated on Friday at her funeral in St Teresa's Church, Lisburn.
One colleague wrote: "Such a beautiful girl inside and out, always smiling. So heartbreaking".
A parent added: "Devastated beyond words. My daughter idolised this woman last year. She was a teacher who made a lasting impression on her forever!"
Taking to Facebook, St Teresa's PS also issued a statement, which read: "It is with great sadness and deep regret that I must inform you that Fionnuala Kennedy, wife of Mr Hughes our P5 teacher and Mum to Lorcan Hughes, a P3 child in our school, passed away yesterday after a tragic accident on Saturday.
"Fionnuala was often teaching here in St Teresa’s PS as a substitute teacher and also worked in our Whizz Kidz Club during the summer months.
"We, the school community of St Teresa’s PS wish to send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mr Hughes, Lorcan and Fionnuala’s entire family circle at this most difficult time.
"I would ask for the whole school community to recite our school prayer written by St Teresa of Avila at home, in honour of Fionnuala."