A young Derry girl who died in a tragic accident at the weekend has been remembered as having a “radiance and a smile that lit up a room” as she was laid to rest today.

Four-year-old Fianna Grace Harkin, from Draperstown, was taken to Antrim Area Hospital by ambulance on Saturday after emergency services were called to an incident at the Tirruadh Road in the village. However, little Fianna later died.

Family and friends gathered at St Columba’s Church, Straw, to pay respects to the “beloved daughter” of Brian and Karen, sister to Cahair, Shannon, Emma and Sara and the granddaughter of Mickey, Madge and the late Margaret.

Fianna’s heartbroken mother paid tribute to her “snuggle buggle” and “beautiful girl” prior to the funeral.

“I will love and miss you forever,” she said.

A poem was read at the service for “special girl Fianna Grace, who is forever four”.

“She was so very special and was so from the start. You held her in your arms but mainly in your heart,” it read.

“She’s gone to play with the angels in heaven up above, so keep your special memories and treasure them.”

The church was decorated with pink and gold heart-shaped balloons, as well as a giant pink helium balloon of the number four.

At the beginning of the service, friends and family members offered items around her white coffin as “symbols of her life”.

This included a Gaelic football, a number of GAA jerseys, a giant unicorn teddy and pictures hand-drawn by her friends.

Also included was framed photographs of the four-year-old, including one taken at her graduation from the Ballinascreen Early Years group.

She had been expected to start St Mary’s Primary School later this year.

The service, which was worded as a celebration of her “all-too-short life” rather than a requiem mass, was conducted by Father Peter Madden, who pointed out that they “did their best to fill the church with as much light as possible, because it so reflects the light Fianna brought with her everywhere she went”.

“For one so young, you all know she had a radiance and a smile that lit up a room,” he said to those in attendance.

“Fianna’s sudden death has cast a shadow of sadness and shock over this entire parish and beyond.

“Her family have suffered an emotional earthquake that has totally upended their lives; nothing will ever be the same again.

“Words, however sincere they are meant, will not put it back together again so easily.”

Locator: Tirruadh Road – Draperstown

Fr Madden pointed out how Fianna had the ability to touch others and “packed so much into her four years — what many wouldn’t achieve in 40”.

He spoke of her love of GAA and how she was described as being “old before her time”.

“I well remember the day Fianna was baptised. The excitement and joy of the entire family couldn’t be contained,” he said.

“It didn’t take long for Fianna’s family to realise they had a bright one here. And, as the saying goes, and many of you all said it, she’s been here before.

“She was old before her time. She could talk before she was two. And I don’t mean dropping a word here or there — these were full-on conversations,” he pointed out, adding that the child should be considered for the Guinness Book of World Records as the youngest ever GAA coach.

“The GAA was in her blood,” Fr Madden said.

“Even before she was born, she was part of the Ballinascreen GAC team and helped coach the senior ladies.

“She couldn’t not have heard the advice that her mother, Karen, was giving from the sidelines of the pitch at every match and training session, even on the week Fianna was born,” he added.

“For one so young she had a passion for the game, it was quite remarkable.”

Fr Madden said that her name perfectly reflected her “feisty personality”.

“The name Fianna is an ancient Irish name that dates back to the Iron Age,” he told the congregation.

“It means brave warrior and she was just that. She hadn’t a shy bone in her body.

“She brought so much joy to her family and all of you who knew her — and that’s what makes it so hard and difficult.

“She was only four years old, but her legacy will live on in this parish.”

At the end of the service, a recording was played of Fianna singing You Are My Sunshine, which was followed by a round of applause.

A PSNI spokesperson confirmed that a post-mortem will be held “in due course” to establish the cause of Fianna’s death while enquiries are ongoing.

First Minister Michelle O’Neill paid tribute to the young girl earlier this week.

“The little angel. Thinking of the entire family and community at this devastating time,” she said.

A number of local GAA clubs also paid their respects< including Ballinascreen GAC, Derry Ladies Gaelic Football and Drumsurn GAC.

Ballinascreen Traditional Music Group said on social media: “The Ballinascreen Traditional Music Group would like to offer their sincere condolences to the Harkin Family, friends and neighbours on the tragic loss of Fianna Grace. You are in our thoughts and prayers at this very sad time. A little angel, taken too soon. Suaimhneas síoraí dá hanam.”