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Monday 20 November 2017

Shock at mystery death of teen taken ill in restaurant

Second year university student Lisa Niland (19): her unexpected death was ‘a terrible shock’.
Second year university student Lisa Niland (19): her unexpected death was ‘a terrible shock’.

Alan O'Keeffe

A rural community is in mourning following the death of a teenager who became ill on a visit to a restaurant and died a number of days later.

Lisa Niland (19), from Drimbane, Curry, Co Sligo, died at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after being transferred by helicopter from Sligo University Hospital.

She was a second year student at the University of Limerick.

It is believed Ms Niland was eating at a restaurant in Sligo last week when she complained of feeling unwell.

An ambulance was called and she was taken to Sligo University Hospital.

It is understood she spent a number of days in the hospital and was then airlifted to Beaumont Hospital where she passed away surrounded by family members on Friday.

The cause of her death is unknown.

Her death has devastated her family and friends and deeply shocked the local community.

The family's death notice, posted online, said: "Heartbroken, but gently returned to her creator by her loving and caring parents, Angela and Gerry, her sister and best friend Amy, and her boyfriend Johnny."

Ms Niland was a keen GAA supporter and she was a niece of well-known GAA referee John Niland, who officiated at the Junior and Senior All Ireland Ladies Football Finals in Croke Park as well as a number of senior county football finals in Sligo.

A minute's silence was observed in her memory at the FBD inter-county football match between Sligo and Leitrim in Tourlestrane on Sunday.

Barry Gallagher, chairman of the Curry GAA Club, said: "Lisa was a very popular member of the club and she played at several under-age levels, including minor.

"She was a good player who was outgoing and she was a good mixer at the club.

"Everyone at the club extends deepest sympathy to her family at this sad time.

"A sad event like this puts every other problem into perspective."

Fianna Fáil Councillor Paul Taylor said that the entire region was united in grief at the death of Ms Niland.

"We are all grieving and our thoughts and prayers are with her family," Mr Taylor said.

"This is a devastating blow for all family and her friends.

"It is a big shock to everyone in the community."


A local woman told the Irish Independent that Ms Niland was "a nice, quiet girl from a very respectable family".

"It's a terrible shock. She was a young, fit girl and her death was completely out of the blue.

"Everyone is so sad for her family," she said.

Ms Niland was a past pupil of Saint Attracta's Community College in Tubbercurry, where she was a popular student.

She is survived by her parents, grandparents Mai and Tom Niland, grandmother Annie Gara, grand-uncles and grand-aunts, uncles, aunts, and cousins.

A number of meetings and local sports events were cancelled or postponed as a mark of respect, including a community games swimming event.

A number of local businesses and groups in her native town also closed as a mark of respect.

Her funeral is at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Curry today at noon.

The burial is after the Requiem Mass in the local Bunnacrannagh Cemetery.

Irish Independent

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