GARDAI are investigating how a teenage girl died after she collapsed outside a city nightclub.
Ana Hick (18), from Dalkey, Dublin passed away yesterday after she was rushed to hospital over the weekend. She had been due to celebrate her 19th birthday tomorrow.
Officers are awaiting toxicology results amid concerns that the young woman may have taken ecstasy pills on the night she fell ill.
She was with friends in the early hours of Saturday when she collapsed outside the Twisted Pepper nightclub on Middle Abbey Street.
Ana was immediately taken to the Mater hospital, but a decision was made to turn off her life support machine at 5.30pm yesterday.
Her father had flown from the United States to be by his only daughter's bedside.
A source said that gardai were investigating the circumstances surrounding the teenager's death and investigating reports that illegal substances may have played a role.
"Gardai have to wait for toxicology reports to confirm that drugs did play a role in Ana Hick's death, and this is being looked at," the source said.
Friends last night paid tribute to the former Loretto College student, who worked at the Crunch Fitness gym in Dun Laoghaire.
One local said that the tragic and untimely death will leave the tight-knit community in "shock".
"Dalkey still has the quintessential small town community spirit. And no doubt it is going to be a comfort to the family," one person added.
Ana, who was studying acting and film at the Irish Film Academy in Temple Bar, was last night described by friends as "a determined, ambitious, fun loving girl".
Lord Mayor of Dublin Christy Burke told the Herald "there is a dark cloud over the city and indeed over her family.
"My deepest sympathies go out to the family of this young woman," he said.
Mr Burke also made a special appeal to those who are selling drugs to stop.
"I would call upon any person, young or old, man or woman, who has come in contact with the drug to immediately present themselves to A&Es or their GPs," he said.
"And I would call upon those who are distributing it to have some type of feeling of humanity and withdraw the sale.
"Hopefully someone amongst them might have a bit of humanity to dump or destroy them so they are not in the harm of anyone else.
"At the end of the day, a young woman lies dead with a beautiful life ahead of her gone. The misery that is left is with her unfortunate family.
"There's an empty bed, a space. The family now have to pick up the pieces. They live the nightmare."
Last night, the nightclub where Ana collapsed expressed their condolences to her family and friends.
"Everyone at the Twisted Pepper is deeply saddened and devastated at the news of the sad passing of Ana Hick," the nightclub said in a statement.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Ana's family and friends at this tragic time."