THE grieving family of schoolgirl Chloe Kinsella have begged teenagers to seek help if they are troubled, saying that suicide is never the answer to life's problems.
Relatives of the 15-year-old made the heartfelt appeal for young people to seek help as their desperate search for Chloe (pictured) came to a tragic end.
Her body was pulled from the River Shannon yesterday after a search that had lasted all week and involved hundreds of volunteers in the Limerick area.
According to gardai, the results of a post mortem examination at University Hospital in Limerick confirmed Chloe died by drowning. Officers do not suspect foul play.
The fashion-loving teenager vanished last Saturday after arriving home to Kenyon Avenue, Kileely, Limerick at about 8pm but then slipping out again through an upstairs window.
It is understood she was upset following an argument and had also been troubled by the recent death of her friend Joe Killeen (16), who drowned in a swimming accident earlier this summer.
But speaking last night, her grieving uncle said: "As far as we know, there was nothing wrong with Chloe. It just all of a sudden came on top of her."
Matthew Franklin called on young people to seek professional help if they are under pressure in their lives.
"Live your lives, just relax and be happy... because if it gets out of hand, we'll have another tragedy on our hands," he said.
Mr Franklin added: "If the pressure gets to you, just go and seek help. Young people in the area, respect what you have, respect your age. Look what's after happening to a 15-year-old child."
Members of the large search party gathered near the scene wept as Mr Franklin praised their efforts and told them the family were thankful that they at least had a body to bury.
"It's been hard, we (in the community) stuck together. We have a funeral to attend. I hope ye all turn up and we can bury her in peace," he said.
Chloe's sister Linsey Kinsella had led an online campaign to help find her and was distraught as she arrived at the scene yesterday lunchtime.
She suffered the unbearable task of identifying her sibling's body at Brown's Quay, Thomondgate, which is just a short distance from the Kinsella family home.
"I never thought I'd be seeing this day," she said in floods of tears. "Chloe, I was waiting for you to come home or even ring my phone. Thanks to everyone who helped to find her. She never knew how much she was really loved."
This is the second tragedy to rock the family. In 2004, Chloe's three-year-old sister Sophie died from a heart condition. Sophie and Chloe are survived by four brothers and three sisters.
Chloe's parents, Shirley and Kevin, were too distraught to speak as they tried to come to terms with the death of another daughter.
A huge swell of people gathered at the quayside where Chloe was found by divers attached to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service.
Youths in Chloe's community will be offered psychological counselling as they come to terms with her tragic death.
Mr Franklin said: "I hope the kids around here respect what's after happening and see what's after happening around here.
"They are only 15 or 16 years of age but . . . if they need help, seek help, because if it gets out of hand, we'll have another tragedy on our hands."
Paying tribute to Chloe, her uncle added: "She was just a lovely little child. She passed my house every morning and hugged my little seven-year-old daughter. And now she's gone.
"I can't believe it. Her friend Joe drowned a few weeks ago alright and that could be part of it as well – we don't know."
The body of Joe Kileen, from Meelick in Co Clare, was recovered from canal waters beside Ardnacrusha in late August after he had been swimming with friends.
Supt Daniel Keane, of Henry Street garda station, praised the community for its sterling search efforts.
For six days, about 200 people took part in the gruelling search, backed up by Irish Search Dogs, the Shannon-based Rescue 115 Helicopter, and marine search groups from Cork Clare and west Limerick.
Supt Keane also extended his sympathies to the family, saying: "This is a tragic day for them and there's no words in my mind that can make it any easier for them.
"I want to thank the community. You are a great community. You have stood steadfast in relation to volunteering.
"I know you will stand steadfast in the coming days when Chloe will be laid to rest and I know that as a community you will come out in great strength in relation to that as well."
Last night, about 200 members of the grieving community held hands as they prayed together for strength in coming to terms with Chloe's death.
Moyross parish priest Father Tony O'Riordan described Chloe's death as "sad and tragic". He said young people needed to know the community would lend a listening ear if they needed to cry over their friend's passing.
He told them "not to be alone" in their grief.
"It's important sometimes to take a little break from it (grief)," he said. "It's important to tell Chloe's funny stories and the happy times and even the mad things Chloe may have got up to. Remember her as she was and do not let the sadness overwhelm you."
Fr O'Riordan added: "There will be tough days ahead, especially as we prepare to support the family as they prepare to lay Chloe to rest.
"There are, and there will be, lots of (counselling) supports available to everyone in the community, especially to Chloe's friends, but you need to seek them out. You don't need to carry this on your own."
Maurice Quinlivan, local Sinn Fein councillor, said: "The community will be organising counselling in conjunction with the HSE and other agencies in the coming days. There are a lot of very upset young people here, especially Chloe's friends."
* If you are affected by any of the issues in this article, please contact the Samaritans at 1850 60 90 90; Console at 1800 20 18 90; Aware 1890 30 33 02 or 1life at 1800 24 71 00.
By David Raleigh