Belfast Telegraph

Dead body discovered by Derry pupils on field trip at Magilligan beach

By Claire Williamson

A group of primary school children have discovered a dead body while on a field trip.

The P7 pupils from the Model Primary School in Londonderry found the dead man at Magilligan beach during a nature trail outing yesterday morning.

Police confirmed that a body of a man was found at Magilligan Point and that a post-mortem will be carried out to determine the cause of death.

The class of 27 children had been combing the beach in small groups when five of them saw the outline of a body and reported it to their teacher.

School Principal Paul Sheridan said: "A group of five children, three girls and two boys, came across the body," he said.

"The children told their teachers – there were two with them – and the authorities were immediately contacted.

"They saw the body from a short distance away and then they did the right thing by telling their teachers.

"I was contacted at the school and the children then went and had their lunch and came back to school.

"We also contacted all the parents of that class to tell them what had happened.

He said the pupils "deserve much praise for their maturity in this very unfortunate situation".

"What we have encouraged them to do is talk about the incident, let the children talk about it and share their experience, and to keep a close eye on them," he added.

"None of them at this stage seems to be traumatised.

"They came back and spoke about it very clearly.

"We looked at the positive aspect of it – what we told the children is that they have been fortunate in that they have helped bring closure to a traumatic event for some family."

He added: "They are all fine. I expect them back in school tomorrow and to have them back into their routine.

"Our designated child protection teachers were involved and informed all other parents of pupils from that class. We advised them to keep an eye on their children tonight.

"The school counsellor is on stand-by should the children feel they need to speak to someone."

Mr Sheridan added: "We don't know who the person is, but the school extends our condolences to the family. They are in our prayers."

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a man whose body was discovered by members of the public at Magilligan Point this morning, Tuesday May 20.

"A post-mortem examination will be carried out to determine the cause of death."

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