Northern Ireland

Tributes to woman killed in Magherafelt house fire

Jolene McCloskey, 32, died in the blaze
Image caption Jolene McCloskey, 32, died in the blaze

Tributes have been paid to the mother-of-three who died in a house fire in Magherafelt.

Jolene McCloskey, 32, died in the blaze at a property in Greenvale Park. It was reported at 09:40 BST on Wednesday.

Police said they were still investigating the cause of the fire, but a crime was not suspected.

She leaves two boys, aged five and six and an eight-year-old daughter. Neighbour Joan Wilson said Mrs McCloskey had lived for her children.

"They are three wee angels. They are going to miss their mummy, you know the way the mummy always tucks them in," she said.

"She just lived her life for those children. Jolene will be in everybody's prayers and Thomas (her husband) and the children."

A special assembly has been held at Holy Family Primary School in the town where the children are pupils.

Image caption An investigation has begun into what caused the fire

Principal Peter Donnelly said the whole school community came together in song, prayer and reflection.

"It was a very emotional morning, one that the children were present for, and it gave a great sense of togetherness and let the children know that as a community we will be there for them, to comfort and support them in any way we can," he said.

Parish priest Father John Gate said he was deeply saddened by the death.

"I would have known Jolene over the past year through preparation for her daughter's communion. Jolene took a lead role in that and would have been on the organising committee for that.

"She read at some of the Sunday Masses and helped with the preparations.

"She was very kind, very generous, very giving person, a very jolly person, and always very polite. It's a sad, sad loss."

Flowers and messages of condolence have been left outside the house.