Sunday 23 July 2017

School left reeling after sudden death of teenage pupil Elle

It is the second tragedy to hit the school in five months

Elle Trowbridge
Elle Trowbridge

The funeral of a young girl who died suddenly this week is to take place today.

Teenager Elle Trowbridge, a pupil at Drumragh Integrated College, was found dead on Monday.

It is the second tragedy to hit the school in five months.

Clare McSorley (18), a former pupil, who knew Elle, passed away last November.

It comes just weeks after another teenager from Killyclogher, Amy Gordon (18), died suddenly on Good Friday.

Elle's funeral will take place in the same church as Amy's, less than two weeks after she was laid to rest.

Both deaths have rocked the small village outside Omagh.

Friends of Elle, a keen horserider who was a member of Drumragh Showjumpers, have paid tribute to the popular student on social media.

Drumragh Integrated College principal Nigel Frith said the school had been left devastated by her death.

"Our thoughts are with the family of Elle at this very, very difficult time for them and I would like to, on behalf of everyone at the school, extend my sympathies to them," he told the Ulster Herald.

"This is devastating for the school.

"It is the second tragedy like this that we have had here in this school year.

"We will be doing everything we can to ensure that every pupil is properly supported.

"We will be talking to them, to let them know that we are here for them and to ensure they feel safe.

"We must pull together as a school and community.

"It is only a few days since another young girl from Killyclogher died.

"It is a very strange world we live in today and sometimes we do not always know or understand the pressures that teenagers and young people are under."

The school posted phone numbers for Lifeline and Childline on its website and has urged people to speak out.

Elle had taken to her Facebook page to celebrate recent success with her showjumping.

Drumragh Showjumpers were named school team of the year at a ceremony last month, and she was named senior area showjumper last November. Friends of the teen flooded social media with heartfelt tributes. One posted on Facebook: "Still can't believe it. Just goes to show, you never know how someone is truly feeling.

"Elle you were an absolute pleasure to be around and that's how you will be remembered, I'm blessed to have been your friend, until we meet again, sleep tight bud."

Another friend wrote: "Rest easy Elle, you were truly loved by all and not a day will go by you won't be missed - you'll always be with me like a handprint on my heart."

Elle is survived by her mother Mandy, stepfather Gavin and brothers Connor and Cian.

The student's funeral will take place at St Mary's in Killyclogher today at 10am.

If you have been affected by the issues raised in this article please contact the Samaritans on 116123 for support or visit the website on www.samaritans.org.

Pieta House can be contacted on 1800 247 247.  For more information on Pieta House and Darkness into Light visit www.pieta.ie.

Belfast Telegraph

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