As friends struggled to take in what has happened, they spoke of an “incredible, amazing girl”, with everything to live for.
Bernie Devlin, pastoral vice-principal of Assumption Grammar School, where Eithne was a past pupil, is a friend of the Walls family.
“I met Eithne two months ago and she looked like a beautiful young woman with her whole life ahead of her,” she said.
“The staff at Assumption are shocked and saddened to hear of the loss of our talented and delightful past pupil.
“Eithne was a student with great energy and motivation. She excelled in all aspects of school life, combining curricular and extra-curricular interests and activities.
“She was a top-class musician and dancer who used these disciplines to enrich her life.
“Eithne’s warm and caring nature endeared her to all with whom she came into contact. Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”
A fellow-dancer from Damsha, the Irish dance entertainment company, who asked not to be named, had danced with Eithne for five years.
“It’s extremely hard to even speak about it,” she said. “She was an absolutely incredible, amazing girl, always happy and always smiling.”
Ulster Unionist councillor Robert Gibson, who knows Eithne’s father well, said the family are devastated.
“Ballygowan is stunned to hear what has happened,” he said.
“The Walls are a well respected family, very much part of the community. It’s a very difficult time for them.
“It’s the uncertainty of it all, not knowing what has happened, other than the aircraft has gone down in deep waters. It’s a massive blow to the family.
“Obviously they are now trying to come to terms with their loss.”
Mr Gibson said Eithne’s family was immensely proud of her an her achievements.
David McNarry, UUP councillor and close neighbour, said that everyone was “shocked and saddened” by the news.
“They are a very well respected family in the area,” he said.
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