Widespread search for 15-year-old NI schoolboy ends in tragedy - support now available for friends

John Paul Smyth
John Paul Smyth

The body of a 15-year-old NI schoolboy who had been missing since New Year's Eve was found yesterday by search teams.

John Paul Smyth, 15, was last seen in Warrenpoint.

Police last night confirmed the tragic news on Saturday night.

In a statement they said: "Thank you to everyone for all your help and support and who shared our appeal to find missing teenager 15 year John Paul (JP) Smyth.

"Sadly, we are no longer searching for JP and offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends this evening."

Tributes to the teen have poured in on social media.

Sinn Fein's Chris Hazzard said: "Really sad news from Warrenpoint as search for JP Smyth is called off after body recovered - thoughts of all of us in #SouthDown and further afield with John Paul’s family and friends tonight".

A post from Saint Paul's High School on January 4 said: "The tragic and accidental death of our esteemed Year 12 pupil JP Smyth has shocked and saddened us all. The thoughts and prayers of the entire St Paul’s community go out to JP’s family and friends.

"JP’s infectious personality and his friendly smile endeared him to so many pupils and staff at St Paul’s.

"The school oratory will be open tomorrow (Sunday 5 January) from 12.00 noon – 2.00 p.m. as a location for our pupils, their families and any members of staff who would like to gather and remember JP.

"Support will be available to any pupils who are affected by JP’s death on their return to school on Monday.

"If you’ve been affected by JP’s death and wish to talk to someone who can help you, you can contact the Lifeline helpline on 0808 800 8000."