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Shock at Belfast girl's death in holiday flat

Published 16/07/2007

A Donegal village was today in "deep shock" after a 15-year-old Belfast girl was found dead at a holiday flat.

Officers from Ballyshannon Garda station are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the teenager, who was found in a flat at Main Street in Ballintra, shortly before midnight on Saturday.

It is believed the girl, named locally as Ashling McVeigh, had travelled with friends from Co Antrim for a holiday weekend.

Her remains were removed to Letterkenny Hospital and the State Pathologist was today conducting a post-mortem examination. The scene at Ballintra has been preserved for a technical examination.

Fine Gael councillor Phonsie Travers, who lives in the area, said that people in the village had been left devastated.

He added that locals had only just started recovering from the tragic death of mum Dolores McCrea (39), who was murdered in 2004.

"It is a big shock," said Mr Travers. " This is a small area with only 100 to 150 people. It is a farming community with one main street, two pubs, two shops - to be honest I was surprised to find out that young people were staying here.

"It is not a place where young people normally come. It is a sleepy wee place, very quiet, but it is not far from Rossnowlagh, where more people would probably go.

"It appears that she was down from Belfast in a party of six friends aged from 16 to 18.

"They rented the apartment on Friday by all accounts, and that night she said she felt too ill to go out. The rest of them went out and returned at 11.30pm to find her in a bad way and called an ambulance.

"Unfortunately by the time she got to hospital in Letterkenny it was too late. This is an awful tragedy for her parents.

"Thank goodness it doesn't look like a murder or anything like that, but for another tragic death in such a small place, people find it hard to take in."

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