Christmas shopping trip ends in tragedy for
LOCAL councillor has spoken of the devastation of a Dunmurry
family after their 16-year-old daughter died when she was hit by
a bus in Belfast city centre on a family Christmas shopping
Councillor Angela Nelson said Ciara Park's
death had brought her family's world to 'a terrible halt'.
Speaking after visiting Gerard and Briege
Park and their three other children Claire, Gerard and Stephen
she said they were "inconsolable".
Her parents are just devastated and
completely heartbroken. They just want their daughter back," she
said. "Ciara was a wonderful child and an excellent pupil at
school where she was preparing to take her mock GCSE
Mrs Nelson said the Dunmurry teenager was on her
way to meet her father and brother after leaving them for a
short time to buy a CD during a family Christmas shopping
expedition on Tuesday afternoon.
Ciara, from Margaretta Park, had arranged to re-join her
devastated dad Gerard in the Primark Bank Buildings store but
was struck by the Metro bus as she crossed Royal Avenue just
beside its junction with Castle Place. Frantic efforts to save
her began with the bus driver evacuating passengers from the
vehicle and using the hydraulic system to lift it as far off the
ground as possible.
|`We had a little
tribute, a little prayer service and the first piece
of music was called Angels which just summed up what
Clara was like, because she was such an angel.'
Carol McCann, Principal St. Dominic's
crews used inflatable airbags to allow paramedics to treat the
teenager before placing her on a stretcher and taking her to the
Royal Victoria Hospital.
The St. Dominic's pupil passed away at the
RVH despite desperate efforts to save her by medical staff.
Ciara's classmates left flowers at the scene
of the accident on Wednesday and St. Dominic's Principal Mrs.
Carol McCann said she was 'devastated' to have lost such a
wonderful pupil. She was a shining example to her school mates
and a loving child who had a bright future ahead of her. She was
very much just the perfect girl...just a girl who was the
perfect student to have in class, a perfect friend. Not a girl
who would go through the school without doing her best every
"We had a little tribute, a little prayer
service and the first piece of music was called Angels' which
just summed up what Ciara was like, because she was such an
angel. "Clara was a very valuable member of the school community
and everyone here will miss her very much," she added.
The school has taken a number of measures to
help Ciara's friends cope with the tragedy including the
opportunity to speak to counsellors.
St. Dominic's Choir will sing at Ciara's
Requiem Mass tomorrow (Saturday) in the Church of Our Lady Queen
of Peace, just yards from her home.
Dunmurry Councillor Matthew McDermott also
expressed his sadness at the teenager's untimely death.
"My deepest sympathies are with Ciaras
parents, her entire family circle and her many friends at this
heartbreaking time" he said. "No words can express the sorrow
felt in the Dunmurry area by the loss of this young life in such
"My thoughts are also with the bus driver as
he comes to terms with this. A sokesperson for Translink
extended the company's deepest sympathy to Ciara's family: "Our
thoughts are also with the driver," he added.
Ciara's remains will be removed from her home
tomorrow at 9.30am. Her Requiem Mass will begin at 10.00am and
she will then be laid to rest in Belfast City Cemetery.
Councillor Paul Butler described Ciara's
death as a 'devastating blow' for her family.
"I want to convey my deepest sympathy to
Ciara's parents, brothers and sister. My deepest sympathy goes
out to them at this time and they will be in our thoughts and