Fianna Grace Harkin: tributes after tragic death of Draperstown four-year-old

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The Draperstown community has been left devastated by the death of much-loved four-year-old Fianna Grace Harkin.

The little girl – described as ‘the brightest star’ who kept everyone ‘entertained every single day in life’ – died on Saturday in what is understood to be a tragic incident.

Tributes have been paid to Fianna, “beloved daughter of Brian and Karen, sister of Cahair, Shannon, Emma and Sara; granddaughter of Mickey, Madge and the late Margaret”.

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Posting on social media, one friend said: “The brightest star went to heaven yesterday and we are completely heartbroken.

Fianna Grace Harkin.Fianna Grace Harkin.
Fianna Grace Harkin.

"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.

"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.”

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Fianna was a pupil at Ballinascreen Early Years and had been planning to go into P1 at St Mary’s Primary School this year.

A spokesperson for the pre-school said: “Everyone here at Ballinascreen Early Years are totally heartbroken with this tragic news of the passing our pupil Fianna Harkin.

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

Sympathy has been extended to Fianna’s family from throughout GAA circles.

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A spokesperson for Ballinascreen GAC offered “deepest condolences to Brian and Karen (Club Executive member and LGFA secretary) and to Cahair, Shannon, Emma and Sara on the untimely passing of their daughter and sister, Fianna Harkin.

"Thoughts and prayers with them and the Cullinan and Harkin families and friends at this sad time”.

Derry Ladies Gaelic Football also extended their condolences.

"Derry LGFA wish to express their deepest sympathies to the Ballinascreen LGFA secretary Karen Harkin on the tragic loss of her little daughter Fianna and to her sister Shannon - our minor and senior county player.

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“In these their darkest days the entire LGFA community in Derry prays for Karen, Brian, Shannon, Cahair, Emma and Sara, the Ballinascreen GAC LGFA circle and its wider parish and community. We are so very sorry for your loss.

"May her gentle soul rest in peace.”

The Ballinascreen Traditional Music Group offered their condolences, describing little Fianna as “a little angel, taken too soon”.

Her funeral will be on Tuesday, June 11 at 2pm from her late home 10 Tirruadh Road with Requiem Mass at St Columba's Church, Straw, with burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

The community rosary will be said outside the family home at 7.30pm on Monday evening.

A police spokesperson said enquiries into the tragedy are ongoing and there are no further details at this stage.

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