Updated: 13/12/12 : 13:03:06
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Sister of suicide girl found dead

The teenage sister of a schoolgirl who died by suicide less than two months ago has died, the school she attended has confirmed.

Shannon Gallagher (15), who paid emotional tributes following 13-year-old Erin’s death, was found dead in Co Donegal last night.

It is believed she had also taken her own life.

Donegal VEC, which runs Finn Valley College in Stranorlar, which both girls attended, said it was "trying to find the words and response to the tragedy".

Chief executive Shaun Purcell said school staff and health agencies involved needed to be given time to support the community.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, school and community at this sad time," he said.

The Gallagher family, from Ballybofey, were said to be "completely distressed" by the tragedy.

Erin had posted comments on a social networking site before her death on October 27th, reacting to people she claimed had been bullying her. Investigations were launched into claims that she had been a victim of cyberbullying.

Two psychologists, guidance counsellors, Finn Valley principal Frank Dooley and other teaching staff met this morning to discuss how to support students.

Shannon was found dead at about midnight last night. A Garda spokeswoman said she was found in a townland known as Stranamuck, near Castlefinn, Co Donegal several miles from her home.

A crisis incident team was put in place at Finn Valley College and Mr Purcell said the school would still have been in crisis mode following Erin’s death.

In a statement on behalf of the Donegal VEC, Mr Purcell said the primary concern was the welfare of pupils and staff.

“This is an extremely difficult time for all concerned. The critical incident team is in place in the school as a support for students and staff,” he said.

“We understand that the press and media are anxious to cover the tragedy. However, the welfare of its students and staff is the primary concern of Co Donegal VEC. We request that the appropriate agencies are allowed the necessary time and space to support the school.”
PA