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‘Honest, open, kind-hearted and generous’ - tributes paid to Dominic O’Neill after shocking Pulham Market crash

PUBLISHED: 18:44 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 05:16 08 April 2017

Flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash in Pulham Market, where three teenagers died. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash in Pulham Market, where three teenagers died. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Archant

“Honest, open, kind-hearted and generous” were the words used to describe popular Dominic O’Neill, who died with his two friends in a devastating crash in Pulham Market this week.

Richard Cranmer, headteacher at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, pictured with deputy headteacher Rob Connelly. Both paid their tributes to the teenagers who died in the crash. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH Richard Cranmer, headteacher at Archbishop Sancroft High School in Harleston, pictured with deputy headteacher Rob Connelly. Both paid their tributes to the teenagers who died in the crash. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Dominic went to Archbishop Sancroft High School (ASHS) in Harleston and, despite leaving in 2014, was fondly remembered by staff there.

Rob Connelly, deputy headteacher at the school, immediately remembered Dominic as a “character with an infectious personality”.

Many of the messages left on social media and on flowers recounted his “cheeky smile” as one of his best-known features, along with his energy and popularity with other people in the area.

He was a big fan of music and was praised by ASHS staff as a great drummer.

Flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash in Pulham Market, where three teenagers died. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH Flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash in Pulham Market, where three teenagers died. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

ASHS headteacher Richard Cranmer fondly recalled one occasion when, performing at a school music concert, Mr Connelly had to hold Dominic’s drums in place to stop them sliding off the stage.

“The sight of deputy head and student on the stage together, grinning like Cheshire cats, was great to see - and together they facilitated a great performance,” Mr Cranmer said.

Dominic considered persuing music for further education and it was clear to many at ASHS that he had a great passion for it.

“He had a real talent,” Mr Connelly said.

“The music was a really good avenue for him to explore who he was and be himself.”

Mr Connelly also described Dom as “interested in cars and interested in his friends”, with a strong social group around him.

He added: “He was able to change the dynamics of a room.

“He wouldn’t mind me saying that it wasn’t always for the right reasons, and we worked closely with Dom and his mother over his time here.

“It was so much more than an academic education - it was about him making the right choices and channelling his energy and enthusiasm in the right direction.

“As a person he had an incredible self-awareness. He was honest, open, kind-hearted and generous - full of life at every level.

“We always knew he was going to have good fun in whatever he did.

“Wherever he went, whatever he did, he would be doing it with a cheeky smile on his face.

“He worked hard - learning didn’t come easy for Dom and he was well-supported by the school and his mother.”

Avril Mumford wrote on the EDP’s Facebook: “Dominic you were such an amazing guy so popular and remember that cheeky smile when you were a young lad thoughts to all the family’s x.”

Courtney Mumford wrote: “Still can’t quite believe this has happened! Thanks for all the memories that we shared Dom! You’ll never be forgotten!!”

Mason Heasley posted: “Words cannot even describe how I’m feeling right now. You was an absolute diamond in this world matey, you was probably the funniest and nicest boy I’ve ever known.

“Taken far too soon, I know I’ll miss you everyday, not only was you my best friend but you was like my brother. But heaven has gained an angel and I know you’re in a better place. Look down on me and I’ll make sure you I make you proud, I love you so much Dominic O’Neill.”

Did you know Dominic O’Neill? To pay your tribute write, giving your full contact details, to andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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