Primary school pupils’ festive gesture ensures little Andrea is set for key role in nativity play

Andrea - Santa
Andrea Donaghy with Santa.

A SIX-year-old girl is celebrating what promises to be a fairytale Christmas after a heart-warming gesture by her young school pals.​

Andrea Donaghy, who has Down’s syndrome, is set to be the star of her primary school’s nativity play after her friends put her forward to play the role of Mary.​

News of Andrea’s star billing was announced on the eve of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.​

The theme of this year is Empowering Persons with Disabilities and Ensuring Inclusiveness and Equality.​

Proud mum Anne Donaghy, who is the Chief Executive of Mid & East Antrim Borough Council, said she was deeply touched by the gesture by pupils at Laghey Primary School, who she hailed as shining lights for integration and inclusivity. ​

She said: “When I look at my beautiful daughter I don’t think Down’s syndrome – I think downright perfect, and she is in every way.​

“Andrea is such a little character and the apple of her mummy’s eye. She has a lot of complex needs but the outstanding teachers and school principal, Siobhan Coleman, have been exceptional throughout Andrea’s school life.​

“There is so much warmth, support and love shown. It is such an inspirational learning environment.​

“I was so proud when I heard Andrea’s school friends had nominated her for the starring role in their nativity play.​

“Nowadays the world is full of negative news and there is so much hurt out and sadness out there.​

“But this filled my heart with happiness and joy.​

“Andrea is so excited. The school has ordered her little Mary outfit and she can’t wait to get it on and take to the stage.​

“Andrea melts the hearts of all she meets and I know for certain she, along with all the pupils involved in the big show, will lay on a very special treat for all us proud mummy and daddies looking on.”​

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