Monday 22 January 2018

Family left devastated as 12-year-old girl takes own life

Lara Burns
Lara Burns
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

GARDAI are investigating the tragic death of 12-year-old girl who took her own life over the weekend.

Lara Burns, from Kilcock, Co Kildare, died on Saturday evening.

Gardai said today that they were treating her death as a “personal tragedy”.

While it was claimed online that the schoolgirl was a victim of bullying, a source close to the family told the family do not know why Lara took ended own life.

“The family is struggling to come to terms with the devastating tragedy,” said a friend.

Her death comes just weeks after a Donegal schoolgirl, aged 13, and a Leitrim girl, aged 15, took their own lives.

In both those cases, the teenagers had been subjected to bullying immediately before their deaths.

A Facebook site set up by Lara's pal has been flooded with tributes.

“R.I.P Lara, you will be missed by all. A beautiful girl is now a beautiful angel. My thoughts go out to her close friends and family,” said one poster.

Lara was a student at Maynooth Post Primary School which has described her death as a “terrible tragedy”.

Her devastated brother Brendan was among those to pay tribute online. “RIP sis,” he simply wrote.

The first-year student was said to have adored horses and been a massive fan of US rock band Black Veil Brides.

A critical incident management plan was activated at her school this morning.

In a statement the school said it was a “terrible tragedy for Lara's family, our school and our community”.

“We are deeply saddened by these events. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Lara's family and friends.”

Counselling services are understood to be in place for the Lara's friends today.

“There have been an awful lot of deaths like this in the last few years,” Kildare county councillor Kevin Byrne said.

“It is very young to be even thinking about that. That is the age when they are starting to learn about life.

“There should be a general meeting of all staff of all schools in the area.”

Local priest Fr PJ Byrne said: “The community is in shock and are trying to come to terms with such deeply sad and emotional events.”

The country has been shocked in recent weeks by the suicide of a number of girls in their very early teens.

Last month Erin Gallagher (13), from Ballybofey, Co Donegal, tragically took her own life last month.

She was found by relatives only 24 hours after she posted an on-line warning to those she accused of bullying her that she would take her life.

Her death came just six weeks after Ciara Pugsley (15) took her own life in Dromahair, Co Leitrim, after being bombarded with hateful messages on the social networking site.

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