‘We recognise everyone has lost Noah’ – Donohoe family

Noah Donohoe pictured with his mum Fiona. Credit: Family photo/Pacemaker

The family of Belfast teenager Noah Donohoe have paid moving tribute to the 14-year-old, while thanking all those who supported them during his disappearance.

Noah went missing while out cycling in the north of the city a week ago.

Amid fears he had sustained a head injury in a fall, extensive searches were carried out.

However, the community was devastated when news broke on Saturday that a body believed to be Noah’s had been found.

Police confirmed that while a formal identification had not been completed, they believed the body to be Noah’s and were offering ongoing support to his family.

Now, the teenager’s family have said they will soon share details of his funeral.

“We need to express our heartfelt gratitude for the support, outpouring of love, and empathy we have received,” a statement said.

“Noah’s mummy always told him that he would change the world,” the statement continued.

“He was very special. It is very hard to do justice or honour the extraordinary relationship Noah and his mummy shared.

“In his 14 years, his mummy got so much from their special bond, he taught his mummy so much. They were each other’s world.”

It added: “Noah loved his school and his friends at school, and we know that they will be grieving too and they need to say goodbye too.

“Eventually, we will come back to people individually to express our overwhelming gratitude.

“From Fiona and the entire family circle, we wish to say thank you to each and every one of you from the bottom of our hearts.

“The details of Noah’s funeral are to follow and we will share those when they are arranged.”

Flowers laid at the gates of Noah Donohoe's school, St Malachy's College in Belfast. Credit: Pacemaker

It comes after Noah’s school, St Malachy’s College, also paid tribute to a young man remembered as a talented musician and “natural leader”.

Principal Paul McBride said in a statement posted on the school’s website: “The whole college family mourns the tragic loss of our young Malachian, Noah Donohoe.”

Flowers have been laid at the gates to remember the teenager.

“Noah embraced fully all aspects of school life,” Mr McBride said.

“He was an active and prominent member of the Music Department, and as a talented young cellist, Noah was able to enhance the lives of his fellow performers and also many an audience.

“He was a natural leader who led by example. His caring nature, calm demeanour and big smile were some of his great gifts that helped others do their best.”

The principal added: “He was also a keen basketball and rugby player both in and out of school.

“He has been described as the perfect gentleman who was also able to show a genuine competitive spirit on the court.

“One of his teachers and coach said that Noah had a heart of a lion being able to express himself on the pitch, shouting, laughing and having fun with his friends, whilst in class he was normally measured and modest.”

Tributes to Noah Donohoe at the gates of his school. Credit: Pacemaker

Police have urged people to refrain from posting speculation about what happened to Noah on social media.

PSNI Superintendent Muir Clark said: “This type of commentary and rumour is distressing for Noah’s family and is extremely unhelpful.

“An investigation into the circumstances of Noah’s disappearance is still continuing, but there is no evidence to suggest foul play.

“If people post distasteful and patently untrue rumours on social media, we will investigate that.”