The heartbroken community in Lurgan and Craigavon is mourning the sudden death of 11-year-old Maddy-Leigh Harbinson yesterday.
Maddy-Leigh passed away at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after a sudden illness.
The daughter of Colin and Sabrina Harbinson and sister of Tristen, Maddy-Leigh just started Lismore Comprehensive last September.
Principal Mrs Fiona Kane said: ‘Maddy-Leigh was a very pleasant, quiet and hard-working student who made a tremendous contribution to the life and work of Lismore in such a short period of time.
“She raised £200 for charity last term in aid of Multiple Sclerosis and was recognised for this outstanding achievement.
“Our sincere sympathy and condolences are with the Harbinson family and Maddy-Leigh’s friends at this difficult time.
“We are keeping you all very much in the prayers of the Lismore School Community.’
And the school said in a statement online: “As a school community we are saddened to learn of the death of one of our Year 8 students, Maddy-Leigh Harbinson (RIP).
“Maddy-Leigh passed away yesterday suddenly but peacefully at Royal Victoria Hospital.
“Her funeral is on Thursday at 12 noon in St. Anthony’s Church, Craigavon.
“School will be open after the funeral service for anyone who would like to come together.
“On return to school after midterm break, support will be available for both students and staff.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Harbinson family and Maddy-Leigh’s friends at this time.”
Maddy-Leigh’s funeral will leave her late residence in Collingdale, Lurgan at 11.15am to St Anthony’s Church for Requiem Mass with interment in Lurgan Cemetery.
Her passing is very deeply regretted by her loving daddy, mummy, brother, grandparents, aunties, uncles and entire family circle.
The family has a private house and requested family flowers only with donations in lieu if desired to N.I Fibromyalgia c/o Jack McLearnon & Son Funeral Directors 75 North Street Lurgan BT67 9AH.
DUP MLA Carla Lockhart said: “This is devastating news for little Maddy-Leigh’s family, friends and the local community. A bubbly 11-year-old girl with everything to live for cut off in the prime of life.
“Having spoken to the family they are just distraught and in a state of shock. My thoughts and prayers will be with them.
“I know that there will be strong family and community support to help carry the Harbinson and McCombe family through this tragedy.”
SDLP representative Thomas Larkham said: “This heartbreaking news has shocked the entire community.
“I cannot begin to imagine what Maddy-Leigh’s family are going through.
“My thoughts and prayers and that of the entire community are with them at this very sad and difficult time.”