THE heartbroken mother of teenager Katie Donnelly has paid a moving tribute to her beloved daughter.
Erin Donnelly described Katie as a girl that was “so outgoing” and said “everybody adored her.”
Katie, pictured right, who had turned 18 last January, died suddenly at the Fermanagh and Tyrone Hospital in Omagh last week.
She was laid to rest in a poignant funeral service at St Joseph’s Church, Ederney on Sunday.
Erin said, “Katie was just so outgoing. She had absolutely fantastic social skills. You know the way that you see some young ones now who couldn’t talk to you, that wasn’t Katie.
“She was the first grandchild, first great-grandchild, first niece for so many years. Everybody adored her.”
Erin added that her daughter was sarcastic, had a great sense of humour and was always playing tricks and joking. Speaking candidly, she said Katie suffered from borderline personality disorder… but not depression.
“She felt everybody’s pain and emotion and took them onboard and tried to help everybody, unfortunately.
“She would have got up at 2am in the morning and said, ‘Mummy, I need to go and lift such and such’. She was such a loyal friend.”
Erin has been inundated with of messages sympathising with her on the loss of her daughter.
She continued, “Katie wanted to be a paramedic. She would have been an ‘A’ student as she was very, very smart.
Erin also revealed that Katie loved both horses and dancing – in particular, jiving – and would help out with the care in the community programme.
She added, “The horses were Katie’s love, her main thing. She lived for horses and that was all that she wanted to do – ride horses.
“Katie was also a brilliant jiver and she used to teach jiving down in Bannagh.
“She got a role in caring in the community. Katie went in and spent time, chatting with people, hearing about war stories and their lives. I think when she got that job, she got a real perspective.”
Katie left Mount Lourdes after sitting her A-levels this summer.
“Katie loved school,” said Erin. “School was her social thing because she had no cousins or relatives the same age. Her friends were everything to her.”
Kaite is not only survived by her mother Erin, but also her father, Colin and siblings Cian and Callie.
Erin stated that Katie’s passing has left “a huge void” in the lives of the family
She added, “I am going to miss her running into the house, running up the stairs, grabbing something in the room and running out the door and me roaring after her, ‘Katie, where are you going now?’
“She had an infectious laugh. I will miss the craic.
“There was never a dull moment with Katie. She wanted me to be happy.
“She would have jumped on Colin and said, ‘Let’s get him’ and the twins would have helped and tickled him.
“And she adored her nanny. That was her number one, above me!
“She had a goddaughter as well called Eva. She would say, ‘Mummy, I need to get something good for Eva for her birthday.’
“It was just craic – it was all that Katie wanted. She just wanted to chat. She just loved chatting to people and meeting new people. She would do anything.”
Katie had been a pupil at Mount Lourdes Grammar School in Enniskillen and had completed her A-Level exams this year.
A statement from the local school extended sympathy to Katie’s family on their loss.
School principal, Sinead Cullen said, “The board of governors, staff and students of Mount Lourdes Grammar School extend their deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of our recent A-Level student Katie Donnelly.”
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, Jemma Dolan, offered her condolences to Katie’s family and friends and said it was a “life taken too soon”.
She added, “My condolences and thoughts are with Katie’s family at this sad time. I know Katie had a strong network of friends who will no doubt need support in the weeks and months ahead.”
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