Tributes paid to teacher who ‘touched the hearts of pupils’
TRIBUTES have been paid to a young teacher from Ahoghill who lost her life in a road traffic accident on Friday.
Lauren Minford, who was in her 20s, died following a collision with a lorry on the Moneygran Road on the outskirts of Portglenone as she travelled to work on Friday morning. She was a teacher at Culcrow Primary School, Aghadowey.
The occupants of the lorry were not injured.
Police have appealed to anyone who was travelling on the Moneygran Road on Friday morning and who witnessed the collision to contact the Collision Investigation Unit in Steeple on 0845 600 8000.
North Antrim MLA Mervyn Storey expressed his sorrow at Lauren’s death: “Jackson Minford [her father], who is a senior official in Roads Division, comes from a highly respected and well regarded north Antrim family.
“He was very close to his daughter and was so pleased when she got the teaching post last September.
“For a young teacher who had dedicated her life to serving the education of children to lose her life is a tragedy,” he added.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with Jackson and the whole Minford family at this sad time and with the staff of Culcrow Primary School.”
Fellow North Antrim Assemblyman Daithí McKay extended his condolences to the Minford family.
He said: “People in the area are in shock after this terrible tragedy that has occurred.
“Local representatives from all parties work with Lauren’s father who is a Roads Service official that is held in high regard in North Antrim. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and Lauren’s family at this difficult time.”
Ballymena SDLP Councillors Declan O’Loan and PJ McAvoy also offered sympathy to the family.
Mr O’Loan said: “On behalf of my Council colleague P.J. McAvoy and myself, I want to express deepest sympathy to Jackson Minford and the entire family on the tragic loss of Lauren.
“There are no words that do justice to the sudden death of a young girl just embarking on her chosen career.
“Like all of my Council colleagues I have the highest regard for the work that, in his professional life in Roads Service, Jackson has carried out.”
Lauren’s school issued a special tribute to her on its website on Friday, describing it as “devastating news”.
“Lauren has only been with us since September 2012, but in that short time she has touched the hearts of the pupils she taught, and is known well to those she didn’t teach,” the school said.
“The pupils have all been told of Miss Minford’s death this afternoon before school ended. We have spent time talking about Miss Minford, but understand that, like ourselves, they will be shocked and deeply saddened by this news.”
It added: “Lauren’s family wanted me to pass on to you that during the short time she spent at Culcrow, she loved her work, loved the children she taught and many times talked of the wonderful
children and parents at Culcrow.
“Lauren will be missed greatly, and we will spend time talking with those children she taught, and counselling will be offered by the North Eastern Education Board.”
Lauren, the daughter of Allison and Jackson and sister of Emma, was laid to rest yesterday (Monday), following her funeral service in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymena.
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Wednesday 22 May 2013
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