A Co Armagh school has paid tribute to an “outstanding” former student who died tragically in England at the weekend.
Jeni Larmour (18) was discovered unconscious at around 6am on Saturday morning at her halls of residence in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
An 18-year-old man was arrested and later released on police bail while investigations into the student's death continue.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “At 6.06am on Saturday police received a report via the ambulance service of an unresponsive woman at an address on Richardson Road in Newcastle.
“Emergency services attended where sadly the woman – aged 18 – was pronounced dead at the scene.
“Enquiries into the circumstances around her death are ongoing. Her next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers at this time.
“The investigation is at an early stage but it is not believed to be a Covid-19 related death.”
Originally from Newtownhamilton, the teenager was just weeks into her first year studying architecture and urban planning at Newcastle University.
Jeni, who had only moved to Newcastle in August, was a past pupil of Armagh Royal School and was appointed Deputy Head Girl in her final year.
Paying tribute, headmaster Graham Montgomery said Jeni had been “a model pupil” and was very highly regarded within the school community.
“It was Jeni’s ambition to attend the Royal School and she wasted none of the opportunities offered to her here. Jeni threw herself enthusiastically into school life,” Mr Montgomery said.
“She was part of the highly successful Combined Cadet Force ‘mil skills’ team and she worked closely with younger cadets to encourage them to develop their skills.
“Her capacity for encouraging others and showing leadership were evident when she was chosen for the important role of Student Leader at the Gordonstoun International Summer School in the summer of 2019.
“She was a highly valued member of the Chamber Choir and was blessed with a beautiful singing voice. She combined that beautiful voice and a brilliant sense of comic timing when she masterfully played the role of Madame de la Grande Bouche in the school production of Walt Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’.
“In October 2019 Jeni was part of the school’s signature charity project, the ASHA team which spent 10 days in the Trilok Puri slum in New Delhi. This trip required significant commitment and was the culmination of a year of fundraising activity by Jeni and the other team members.”
Mr Montgomery added: “Jeni was a spirited and independently minded girl with clear views which she was happy to articulate in a respectful manner and she was possessed of a well-developed sense of justice. Through her work on the school council she was instrumental in promoting plans for the ‘greening’ of the school site through tree planting.
“We have no doubt, that given her academic ability and personality, Jeni had a bright future ahead of her and we are saddened that has been so suddenly cut short. We extend to her many friends, her family, brother and parents our sincerest sympathy at this tragic time and assure them of our prayers and practical support.”
A spokesperson for Newcastle University added: “We are shocked and saddened to learn of the death of one of our students and our welfare teams are offering support to those affected.”