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Pals mourn Georgia after rail fall tragedy

HEARTBROKEN pals of Bray schoolgirl Georgia Varley (16), who slipped from a railway platform and died, gathered in grief last night.

More than 400 young people aged between 16 and 20 years old turned up at the Church of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Co Wicklow town to mark the passing of the teenager.

The Loreto schoolgirl was killed instantly at 11.30pm on Saturday when she fell between the platform and a train at Liverpool's James Street station, in front of her horrified family, friends and passengers.

Georgia, who was from Wirral, Merseyside, had previously lived for just over a year in Bray and her Irish friends organised a memorial service to say goodbye to her.

Many came dressed in Liverpool jerseys or wearing bright colours because "she would have liked a happy send-off".

They also brought along with them Hello Kitty soft toys and balloons, as they were her favourite.

Bray native Pierce Sweeney (17), Georgia's former boyfriend, revealed he had spoken to her on the day of the tragedy.

"I talked to her nearly every day even after she moved back to Liverpool [around six months ago], she would have been one of my closest friends.

"I spoke with her on Saturday around 2pm, she told me that she would be going out that night... I just told her I loved her, before [the accident] happened to her. At least I got to do that," the devastated young man said.

"She moved from Liverpool to Ireland two years ago so she could live with her mum [Paula], we would have seen each other every day after school. I have never met anyone so happy."

Rebecca Lawless (20) and Leighann Verdon (19), who organised the ceremony, were not surprised to see the large church completely filled up with students last night.

"Georgia used to get on with everyone when she lived here, she touched everyone so we knew a lot of people would want to say goodbye to her," Leighann said.

After the service, which was led by Fr Jean Marie Mbombo, a dozen of Georgia's closest friends read out poems that they had written in school for her.

They each came up to the altar to leave photos of the pretty schoolgirl and messages of love, while the song I'll Go Wherever You Will Go played.

Once the memorial had ended, a quarter of the mourners led a procession across the town to Georgia's favourite spot near Bray harbour, from where they lit and let off lanterns in her memory.

Georgia's best friends in Ireland, Shauna Kelly (17) from Cabinteely, who lived next door to the bubbly teenager, and Sabrina Kavanagh from Shankill, were making plans to meet up with Georgia when when they heard of her death.

The two girls noticed a message on Georgia's Facebook page saying "R.I.P forever rest in peace" and they did not believe at first that their friend had died until Georgia's friends from home got in touch with them.

Georgia's father Paul, who lived in Liverpool, wrote on the tribute page: "She was so loved and she never had an upside down smile on. She was such a happy girl."

hnews@herald.ie