The principal of Banbridge Academy paid a heartfelt tribute to pupil Christopher McAlinden.
Mr Raymond Pollock said: “Our thoughts are with Christopher’s family; his mother and father and sister Lauren who is in Year 13.
“Our hearts go out to them at this time of devastating loss, pain and bereavement. We assure them of the love, support and prayers of this entire school community.
“Christopher McAlinden was a very special young man whose passing has left a huge gap in our school family. He was highly respected by all who knew him and especially in his Form Class 9D of which he was a valued member. “Christopher was an able pupil who enjoyed school life and undoubtedly a bright future lay ahead for him as he worked hard to fulfil his potential. He was a quiet, friendly, warm-hearted, genuine young man who was loved by everyone.
“We are totally devastated by his loss and filled with a sense of shock and disbelief at losing someone so young, just starting to make his way in life.”
As the sad news spread through the school community on Wednesday last he said, “there was great sadness and outpouring of grief and I want to thank my colleagues in school for the sensitive manner in which they provided support and care for our pupils at such a traumatic time.”
He added: I have been so impressed by the manner in which Christopher’s friends have rallied round to support each other, even though they are each one grieving deeply. I also commend the SELB for their prompt response to this tragic accident providing help and guidance to pupils and staff.”
“We give thanks for Christopher’s life and for the contribution he made to our school community, as a pupil as a classmate and as a friend. We will cherish his memory in this school family.”