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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Family devastated by tragic death of 'talented' Jessica at Debs ball

Jessica Moore from Loughrea has been described as a ‘talented and vibrant girl’
Jessica Moore from Loughrea has been described as a ‘talented and vibrant girl’

The heartbroken parents of a young woman who died tragically after taking ill at a Debs ball are suffering "inexpressible grief".

Jessica Moore (19), from Bullaun, Loughrea, Co Galway, died in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Ms Moore, who was due to collect her Leaving Certificate results today, has been described as a "vibrant and talented girl".

Gardai are investigating all the circumstances surrounding her death.

Emergency services were alerted to a hotel in Ballinasloe, where the Debs was taking place, at around 2am.

The teen was treated at the scene and transferred to a nearby hospital, but despite the best efforts of medical staff she was pronounced dead a short time later.

Local gardai are awaiting the results of a post-mortem examination to determine the course of their investigation into the tragedy.

Sensitive

A death notice for the teenager said she died suddenly "to the inexpressible grief of her heartbroken parents Brendan and Catherine".

She is also survived by her brother and sister, grandparents as well as her wider and extended family, and her "many, many friends".

A funeral mass will take place on Thursday at 1pm in St Patrick's Church, Bullaun, before she is laid to rest in the local cemetery.

The tragedy happened at Gullane’s Hotel in Ballinasloe
The tragedy happened at Gullane’s Hotel in Ballinasloe

Sources said other students who were present at the event will be spoken to in an effort to shed light on the hours leading up to Ms Moore taking ill.

"This is a sensitive case involving young people and will be handled in a delicate manner by gardai," a source said.

The post-mortem examination will take place to determine the exact cause of death," the source added.

The community and people in the wider area of Loughrea, where the young woman lived with her family, are now mourning her sudden and tragic passing.

Yesterday at St Raphael's College, where Ms Moore was a student, a memorial with her picture surrounded by several candles was placed in the school's hallway.

Principal Paul Cafferky said that the school's thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends, but did not wish to comment any further at this time.

Jessica Moore
Jessica Moore

Local representatives from the community also told of their sadness at the news, and expressed their condolences to the family of Ms Moore.

Local Fianna Fail councillor Shane Curley said that it was a "terrible situation".

"I want to pass on my sincere condolences to her family," he said.

"It is a huge shock for the community."

Independent councillor for Loughrea Geraldine Donohoe said: "My thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very sad time.

''It's a terrible tragedy, the family need the time and space to come to terms with their loss."

Local gardai in Ballinasloe are carrying out inquiries into the sudden death and a garda spokesman said that investigations are ongoing.

"Gardai are investigating a sudden death incident involving a 19-year-old female that occurred in the early hours of Monday, August 12, at a hotel in Ballinasloe, Co Galway," the spokesman said.

"After being informed the female felt unwell, an ambulance was called and she was taken to Portiuncula Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

"The coroner has been notified and a post-mortem is expected to take place.

"Investigations are ongoing," the spokesman added.

A member of staff at Gullane's Hotel, where the tragedy happened, said they would not be making any comment at this time as there is an investigation ongoing.

Other local sources have described the young woman as a "vibrant and talented girl" who was well known in the town.

Reeling

"Everyone has been left reeling. It's heartbreaking," said a local resident.

"She was so talented. She was popular and well-liked."

Another local man, who asked not to be named, said Ms Moore came from a highly respected family within the town.

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