North Antrim DUP MLA and Chairman of the Assembly Education Committee Mervyn Storey has spoken of his sadness and that of the local community at the tragic death of eight-year-old Robert Christie. Robert fathers also called Robert is still seriously ill in Hospital following on from the farm accident.
Mervyn Storey said: “Words can not begin to describe how the Christie family must be feeling
at this moment and the deep sorrow that they have been plunged into as a result of this accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with Simone and her two girls Alice and Isobela and with Robert in Hospital and the
wider family circle. The local community and further afield are stunned at yet another accident of this nature.
“I visited Roberts local school (Knockahollet) this afternoon and had the opportunity to speak to the Principal Mr Gerry Black. We assured him and his staff that we were thinking of them and offered our support as they come to terms with this sad event. I would also thank the NEELB staff who have been in contact with Mr Black to offer support and advise as the school community deals with this tragedy over the next few days and weeks.
“I have no doubt that the Community will be there for the Christie family as they face the coming days, that sense of community spirit is always very prevalent especially at times of bereavement and loss. We will continue to uphold the family in our thoughts and prayers, ever mindful of the one who is the God of all comfort.”
Comments in the Assembly today (Monday): ‘Mr Speaker it is with a great sense of sadness that we recall the tragic events which unfolded on Saturday morning on a farm on the Ballinlob Road in my North Antrim Constituency. How true are the words of scripture - “Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. Little did anyone think that such tragic events would unfold.’
‘At the outset I wish to extend my sincere and heartfelt sympathy to Bertie and Simone Christie on the death of there much loved and cherished son Robert Thomas Stephen. And to their girls Roberts sisters, Isobel and Alice. To the wider family circle we assure them of our continued sympathy and prayerful support. We continue to pray that Bertie will make a recovery and that his life will be preserved.
‘As a parent I cannot begin to imagine the depths of anguish and sorrow that that Christie family have been plunged into, but we assure then that in the midst of their grief we are thinking of them as is the entire community.
‘This afternoon we should also remember the principal, staff and pupils of Knockahollet primary school were Robert was a pupil. I was with the Principal Mr Gerry Black yesterday afternoon and I appreciate the contact that was made with the school yesterday by the NEELB following a conversation I had with Mr Ray Gilbert from the Board.
I would also like to pay tribute to the emergency services, we are all too quick sometimes to be critical and very slow when it comes to giving praise and showing appreciation.
To the Coast Guard, Fire Service, Ambulance Service PSNI, THE STAFF OF Causeway Hospital and royal Vitoria Belfast we say a word of thanks.’
Deut 33 v 27
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: