Monday 20 January 2020

'My little girl is now an angel' - dad's tribute after Debs ball tragedy

Jessica Moore died after falling ill at her Debs ball
Jessica Moore died after falling ill at her Debs ball

The heartbroken father of a teenage girl who died suddenly after her Debs ball has said her death has left an "irreplaceable hole" in the family's lives.

Jessica Moore (19) passed away in the early hours of Monday morning after falling ill at a hotel in Ballinasloe.

The teenage girl, from Bullaun in Loughrea, Co Galway, was due to collect her Leaving Cert exam results yesterday.

Gardai are continuing their investigation into the tragedy and have spoken to a number of people who were at the Debs ball on the night.

A post-mortem examination was due to be completed yesterday to determine the exact cause of death.

Staff at Gullane's Hotel have said that they will not be making any comment as there is an ongoing investigation.

Heartfelt tributes have been paid across the community for Ms Moore, who has been described as "talented and artistic".

Her father, Brendan Moore, paid an emotional tribute to his daughter.

"My little girl is now an angel. There's always going to be an irreplaceable hole in our lives. Rest easy Jess, you'll never be forgotten," Mr Moore wrote in an online post.

Ms Moore's body will lie in repose this evening ahead of her funeral tomorrow at St Patrick's Church, Bullaun.

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

The parish priest of Bullaun, Fr Pat Kenny, described Ms Moore as "so talented" and said that the local community's sympathies are with her family.

"Well of course our deepest sympathies are with the family," Fr Kenny told the Herald.


"It is such a tragedy for something like that to happen to a beautiful daughter in every way, and someone so talented and so gifted.

"She was so committed to her life. And musical, and artistic, she was so talented and had such a future ahead of her.

"My deepest sympathies on behalf of the whole community are with the family, and with the school.

"All of the students at St Raphael's College got their results today I believe.

"And the whole community of Bullaun is devastated.

"Because she was very active and well known as a young lady, together with her family.

"She went to school in Bullaun National School and was always an A student, a student who was very committed.

"She was very driven," Fr Kenny added.

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

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

"I want to pass on my sincere condolences to her family. It is a huge shock," he said.

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

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

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

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