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Monday 11 December 2017

'A bright light has been extinguished' - Irish girl (15) who died in hotel pool tragedy is named locally

Loss of a girl as young as Laura is 'particularly tragic'

Laura Dempsey (15), a secondary-school pupil from Greystones, Co Wicklow, died
in a hotel pool on the Greek island of Crete. Stock photo: GETTY
Laura Dempsey (15), a secondary-school pupil from Greystones, Co Wicklow, died in a hotel pool on the Greek island of Crete. Stock photo: GETTY

Alan O'Keeffe

An Irish schoolgirl drowned in a swimming pool while on holiday in Crete.

Laura Dempsey (15), a secondary-school pupil from Greystones, Co Wicklow, died in a hotel pool on the Greek island.

Her parents, John Dempsey and Nicola Smith, became concerned about 2.30pm on Sunday when they could not locate her in the resort village Stalida, according to local website Cretapost.gr.

It was reported they discovered her unconscious in the swimming pool at their hotel.

Attempts were made to resuscitate the girl and emergency services were called. Paramedics and ambulance doctors also attempted to revive her but were unsuccessful.

Her body was removed to a local hospital where a post-mortem was scheduled to take place.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed it was aware of the case and was providing consular assistance to the girl's family.

Stalida, also known as Stalis, is a beach resort midway between Malia and Hersonissos.

It is a popular resort for Irish holidaymakers.

A senior police spokesman told the Irish Independent that the drowning had been reported to the authorities and a post mortem would be carried out.

The police would receive a report from the forensic doctor as was usually the case in tragic drownings on the island, he said.

News of the tragedy was greeted with shock and sadness in Greystones where the family are popular members of the local sailing club.

The club's commodore, Daragh Cafferky, said the family and friends and fellow club members were devastated by the terrible news of Laura's death.

Tragic

"She was a really enthusiastic sailor" and the loss of a girl as young as Laura was "particularly tragic," he said.

The "tragic death of one of our young and valued juniors" has been greeted with "extraordinary sadness.".

"A bright light has been extinguished and it is beyond words to express the grief we all feel for our friends Nicky and John," he added.

Laura was a pupil at Templecarrig Secondary School.

Jennifer Whitmore, cathaoirleach of Greystones Municipal District, said the local community was "in shock" and "profoundly saddened" by the death of the popular local girl.

Gerry Walsh, leas-cathaoirleach of the municipal district, said Laura's death was "a terrible loss".

Irish Independent

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