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Little JohnJoe ‘brought a smile to everyone who met him’

A school principal has paid a glowing tribute to JohnJoe Toner following his tragic and untimely passing on Tuesday night.

Justin Toner, Principal at St Malachy’s in Ballymoyer, said pupils, staff and the wider school community are completely devastated at the loss of “our precious little ‘JohnJoe”.

JohnJoe, 10, suffered a suspected heart attack while in school last Thursday.

“He was ‘shining light’ in our school,” said Mr Toner. “A special boy who made an immeasurable contribution to school and parish life during his 10 short years.

“He was a talented footballer, a choir member, and a dedicated altar server. He brought a smile to everyone who met him.

“His passing will leave a huge void in the lives of all who knew him. Our deepest and heartfelt sympathies go to his parents, Cormac and Maria, and to his younger brothers Michael and Daniel.

“May JohnJoe enjoy the rewards of his heavenly home and may his family experience consolation through the outpouring of prayer and support from people throughout the country in recent days.”

A spokesperson for St Malchy’s Church in Ballymoyer, said: “Fr Murphy together with the people of the Parish and beyond wish to extend their sympathies and heartfelt Prayers to Maria, Cormac and all the Toner and McParland families on the sad passing of their son John Joe.

“The Pray Vigils that have been held will now be the greatest of comfort and support to all John Joe’s family and friends in the coming days.

“May the Holy Family and the Divine Mercy Bless and comfort them in their tragic and sad loss. Prayers will be held tonight (Wednesday) in St Malachy’s Church from 7pm to support the family. All are welcome.”

Councillor Sharon Haughey, who knew the family personally, posted this message: “Our hearts are broke for John Joe’s family and our prayers are now with his parents Cormac and Maria Toner, his brothers Michael and Daniel and entire family circle.

“Little John Joe was too young to die but God must have had another plan for him, he will always be in this community’s heart. May he rest in peace.”

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