BALBRIGGAN is preparing to bid a sad farewell to a schoolboy who touched the hearts of everyone he met.
Craig Williams, who died after getting into difficulties in his hotel pool at the Costa Brava resort of Lloret de Mar, will be laid to rest on Saturday.
The 12-year-old from Temple Ville was on holidays in Spain with his mother, Lorraine, and his sister Zoe, 14, and a number of relatives.
He was airlifted to hospital in Barcelona where medics fought to save his life but he died in intensive care four days later.
Devastated school friends and pals from Balbriggan 34th/161st Scouts are expected to turn out in force for his funeral at St Peter and Paul’s Church.
In a statement posted online, the scout troop wrote: “It is with a broken heart that we learned that our fantastic Cub Scout Craig Williams has passed away in a tragic accident whilst on holiday with his family.
“He was truly a great Cub and a pleasure to have with us as part of our group, a young gentleman. A Scout that will stay in our hearts forever.”
In another post with a photo of Craig, the group wrote: “The power of a smile can change the world. Craig definitely had a magic smile, we hope he is smiling down on us all now.”
Parish priest Fr Eugene Taaffe said the entire community is devastated at the tragedy.
He added: “It’s an awful tragedy, absolutely awful. This is a time for family, and family support, and we pray for them all.”
Craig was rushed to Vall d’Hebron Hospital after being revived by the poolside by lifeguards and local police at the three-star Guitart Central Park Hotel in the popular resort of Lloret de Mar.
It is thought that Craig may have suffered an epileptic fit while swimming in the pool.
His sister raised the alarm and four lifeguards – two on duty, and two more from France holidaying at the 252-bedroom hotel – pulled him from the water.
A source said: “Holidaymakers got him out of the water before the lifeguards rushed over and started to try to resuscitate him with the help of a doctor who was staying at the hotel.”
Local police arrived quickly with a defibrillator and managed to get his heart going again. An investigation led by a local judge is continuing.
A spokesman for the hotel said: “All the security and lifeguard protocols have complied with all the regulations and a review of their actions has shown the lifeguards did everything they could.
“We are devastated at the death of this young boy and have been in close contact with his family.”
Craig’s heartbroken sister, Zoe, posted a tribute to her younger brother online the day he died.
She wrote: “Only boy that will ever have my heart. My little man. Rest in peace Craigy. Couldn’t of asked for a better brother. My angel.”