Six-year-old drowned in Algarve is named

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The Independent Online

The death of a six-year-old twin boy on a family holiday in Portugal sent shockwaves through his local community today.

Nathan Sharkey, from Claudy in Co Londonderry, was on holiday with his parents on the Algarve when he drowned yesterday.

A member of staff at Foyle View Special School, which Nathan attended, said neighbours and friends in the family's home village were shocked by news of the tragedy.

"He was a bright, bubbly and lovely boy," said Brenda Stevenson, who is also a local councillor for the nationalist SDLP in the area.

"His death has sent shockwaves throughout Claudy and our thoughts and prayers are with Nathan's family at this devastating time.

"You can feel the raw grief in the village, everyone is absolutely devastated. There is a feeling of 'Has this actually happened?'."

No further information on the tragedy was immediately available, but the Foreign Office is understood to be providing assistance to the boy's parents.

Ms Stevenson said: "His death will be a huge loss to his family and the community. He was a lovely little boy.

"It is terrible this has happened, especially when the family was on holiday and were supposed to be relaxing. They went away as a family unit and now their lives have been thrown into disarray.

"I have no doubt that the entire community in Claudy will lend the family their full support at this very sad and difficult time."

The news comes days after a 16-year-old from west Belfast died after falling from a balcony in Spain.

Padraig Burns, from Tullymore Gardens, was on holiday with a group of friends in Benidorm when the accident happened on July 19.

Parish priest Fr Peter Carlin said the Burns family were struggling to come to terms with the tragedy.

"This a family that is strong in faith, so they draw on their faith, they draw on their own values to support each other," he said.

"They have met a situation beyond anyone's limit to comfort and they have reached something deep within themselves."

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