Friday 27 April 2018

Shock at death of teen girl who fell ill on night out with friends

Tragedy: Tory Johnston
Tragedy: Tory Johnston

Greg Harkin

Gardaí are awaiting the results of a post-mortem as part of an investigation into the death of a teenage girl after a night out with friends.

Tory Johnston (17) died just before 7am yesterday at Letterkenny General Hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack.

She had been taken earlier from Voodoo nightclub in the Co Donegal town after appearing to collapse.

Security staff there were so concerned for her welfare, they took her outside and called an ambulance.

However, it's understood talented student Tory had insisted she was fine and had initially refused to go to hospital before being persuaded to do so by friends.

She was able to walk into the ambulance.

Later, in the morning she was able to chat to nursing staff and doctors at the hospital before suffering a seizure.

Medics worked tirelessly to revive her but she died.

Tory was a bright pupil at Loreto Secondary School in Letterkenny, where she was due to complete her Leaving Cert next year. She had been a prefect last term.

She was one of two daughters to well-known Letterkenny couple Sammy and Helen Johnston.

Her mother has her own hairdressing salon in Letterkenny and Sammy works for a local supermarket chain.

The family, including younger sister Amy, spent a holiday in Tenerife at the end of June.

"She was a great girl, very sensible and very bright," said one family friend.

Letterkenny Mayor Gerry McMonagle said the whole town had been affected by the death. "It is simply a tragedy," he said.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare, your child goes out for the evening and doesn't come back. It's so, so sad."


Gardaí are following the directions of Donegal coroner Sean Cannon.

It's understood there are no suspicious circumstances at this stage.

Friends who were with Tory have been interviewed and say she was in good form until she collapsed.

She appeared to have recovered outside the club and was reluctant to go to hospital.

A post-mortem will be carried out today and toxicology tests carried out as a matter of routine.

However, Tory may have died from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome.

Her school friends were left devastated by the tragedy and took to social media to pay tribute to her.

"I can't believe I won't see that wonderful smiling face again," wrote one friend.

Another said: "You were the life and soul of the school. This is so unfair."

Counselling services are being offered to her many friends in the town.

Her funeral will take place on Sunday at St Eunan's Cathedral with burial afterwards at Conwal Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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