Teen found dead after sister's suicide

Published Thursday, 13 December 2012
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The sister of a 13-year-old Co Donegal girl, who was found dead after allegedly being subjected to online bullying, is now also believed to have taken her own life.

Teen found dead after sister's suicide
The funeral of Erin Gallagher, which was attended by her older sister Shannon. (© Pacemaker)

The body of 15-year-old Shannon Gallagher was found at about midnight on Wednesday, at a property in the Castlefin area, several miles from her home.

The Finn Valley College pupil, who was in her fourth year, was due to turn 16 on Christmas Day.

The tragedy comes just two months after her younger sister Erin was found dead at the family home in Ballybofey.

The school, which both sisters attended, has put a critical incident team in place to offer support to both students and staff.

Shaun Purcell, the CEO of Co Donegal VEC which runs the school, said: "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, school, and community at this sad time.

"This is an extremely difficult time for all concerned."

Donegal Daily reporter Stephen Maguire told UTV that there was a profound sense of shock in the local community over the news.

"People are just numb and devastated by what has happened," he said.

"It's almost been greeted with a sense of disbelief, but there was confirmation this morning."

Lifeline telephone: 0808 808 8000
Samaritans telephone: 08457 90 90 90 (UK) / 1850 60 90 90 (RoI)
Shannon had paid an emotional tribute to her sister following her death in October.
© UTV News
Comments Comments
Realist in England wrote (770 days ago):
John - how would you suggest they go about doing that? Without majorly infringing on personal freedom and risking prosecution over the data protection act, it would be impossible for them to know what is happening out there. Even allowing for massive surveillance, it is highly unlikely that all internet activity could be vetted (or understood) so as to prevent bullying. Some bullying could appear innocuous to others. The answer should come at the levels of education/healthcare and the family. Children need to know that someone will listen to them and that people are available who can help. Not all suicides are caused by bullying, however, and adequate adolescent psychiatric services need to be made available - and easily available - so that potential issues can be picked up and addressed at an early stage. The internet is a medium for good and for bad. It is only one way in which bullies can intimidate people. Bullying existed long before the internet and, even if you waved a magic wand and stopped all internet bullying tomorrow, you would not stop bullying per se. Even if you could stop all bullying, you still wouldn't stop all suicides. The problem is much more complex than that and the solution has to reflect the complex nature of the problem. William - I have no idea why you assume that (or anything else about me). Sean - I did not make a comment about flags. I made a comment about the tragedy of suicide and its shocking prevalence amongst young people in Ireland. As I said before, the flags thing was a contrast that I used in preference to my previous idea of saying something like 'the budget was bad but this puts it into perspective'. As I also said, a contrast was probably not needed and I now regret having made one. I nevertheless consider it to have been a fair comment. I am genuinely deeply sorry if I have in any way offended anyone who has been affected by suicide by my use of that contrast. Saying that, I honestly couldn't care less if I upset anyone who is only bothered about flags (the actual agenda of the people criticising me, in my honest opinion).
JOHN ALLEN in omagh tyrone. wrote (771 days ago):
why o why does internet bosses not put a end to bulling on line. very,very sad,R,I.P.DEAR CHILD.
william in coleraine wrote (771 days ago):
so called realist, do you have children? im sure you dont. this is a real and heartbreaking story, two children have been lost,this has nothing to do with politics or austerety or whatever this is a families personal tragedy, god rest their souls R.I.P
sean.d in belfast wrote (772 days ago):
a heart breaking story so sad this time of year,i must add that i agree with mark and find it unbelievable that the moderators here passed comments on this silly flag thing on this page !As for "realist" you are pathetic
Seamus in On Earth wrote (773 days ago):
This is an absolute disaster and should never have happened. I hope the bullies that harassed these poor girls are caught and charged with murder because it's nothing short of that. R.I.P Erin and Shannon.
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