Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Profound shock and sadness at tragic death of teenager

The tragic death of a Camlough teenager has prompted a profound sense of shock and sadness in the close-knit community and beyond.

Patrick (Paddy Joe) Quinn passed away suddenly in his home on Friday evening last.  The only son of Gerard and Mary, the fourteen-year-old was the second eldest of five siblings.  An out-going and sociable young man, he was hugely popular among his wide circle of friends and has been described as “the best friend you could have asked for” and “a little gentleman”.

A Year 11 pupil at St. Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, his sudden passing has left his fellow pupils and the entire school community bereft.  The school opened its doors on Saturday and Sunday to allow pupils and teachers “to gather in memory of Patrick” and hundreds of messages of shock and sympathy were posted on its Facebook page.

Principal Jarlath Burns said the entire school community is devastated: “Patrick was a bright lad, full of energy, always smiling and with a love of GAA, farming and friendship,” he said.  “We will never forget him and will be anxious to support his friends, his classmates and his family who are so well respected in the area.

“He was at the National Ploughing Championships on Wednesday and Thursday and was full of talk of machinery and livestock in school on Friday,” he added.

Mr Burns thanked all those who have been assisting the pupils to come to terms with this very sad loss.

A keen sportsman, Patrick was a member of Craobh Rua Hurling Club and played his underage football with Carrickcruppen GFC.  The clubs, together with neighbouring Shane O’Neill’s GFC, offered their sincere sympathy and suspended all club matches and planned activities as a mark of respect for the bereaved Quinn and Boyle families, with whom they have had a long association as members and sponsors.

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said the entire Camlough community is in shock.

“This is an unimaginable tragedy for the Quinn family and our thoughts first and foremost must go out to them.  Patrick was so highly thought of by everyone that people are almost in disbelief,” he said.

“I have no doubt that the entire community will rally round the Quinn family to offer whatever support and help they can as they try to come to terms with such a devastating loss.  They are in all our thoughts and prayers,” he added.

Requiem Mass for Patrick is to be celebrated today (Monday) in St. Malachy’s Church, Camlough at 12 noon, with interment following in the adjoining cemetery.

He is survived by his heartbroken parents Gerard and Mary, sisters Eilis, Kate, Mary and Rose; grandparents Emmet and Valerie Quinn and Terry and Frances Boyle; aunts, uncles, cousins and wide family circle, to whom deepest sympathy is extended.