THERE has been an out-pouring of support from the local community for the family of seven-year-old Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton, who died after being struck by a car on Saturday evening.
The Pope John Paul II Primary School pupil had been preparing to make her First Holy Communion in May and Parish Priest Fr Paddy McCafferty has said that a disaster has struck his community.
Describing Kaitlin as “full of life”, Fr McCafferty said: “The whole community is heartbroken. She was such a beautiful child. She was to make her First Holy Communion in May and that is all she was talking about for the last number of months. Her classmates and the entire school are devastated. A terrible shadow has been cast over everything.
♥️ Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton ♥️ pic.twitter.com/cV4mjq75UO— John Paul ll P.S. Belfast (@Johnpaul2PS) April 5, 2021
“The incident happened on Holy Saturday evening as we were preparing for the Easter Vigil. The word came that there had been a terrible accident in Springhill Avenue which is just up the street from where I am.
“I went to the scene immediately and it was just indescribable. The grief – people were inconsolable. It was horrific.
“We celebrated that Easter Vigil under a terrible cloud of grief.”
A community vigil has been held to remember Kaitlin and floral tributes have been left in her honour.
Fr McCafferty added: “The next few days are going to be really rough but the community have been marvellous as usual. There has been an outpouring of support for both Jennifer and Andrew and the whole family.
“There is a big clan of both families and they are well known in the area. It is a tragedy for everyone and life will never be the same for so many within our area.”
Sinn Féin Councillor Steven Corr added: “There is a deep sense of shock within the area. I am on the Board of Governors at John Paul II Primary School where Kaitlin was a Primary Four pupil. It is hard to imagine the grief that everyone is experiencing at this time.
“The community have been brilliant. There was a candlelit vigil and hundreds of homes put a candle in their window and stood at their door.
“It is just unbearable to think of what the family are going through at this time and we can do nothing but offer them our support at this time.”
In a show of support by the community, a JustGiving page has been set up in Kaitlin’s memory and has raised over £10,000 so far.
In addition to this, Mallon Brothers Funeral Directors, along with Kane’s Carriages and Fleurs de Vincent, have all offered their services free of charge.
Kaitlin’s Mass of the Angels will take place today, Thursday, at 1:30pm and can be viewed on the Corpus Christi Parish webcam.
Kaitlin McCoubrey-Fullerton is survived by her parents Jennifer McCoubrey and Andrew Fullerton and her three sisters Cliona, Shannon and Sophie and the wider family circle.