Belfast Telegraph

Donegal school pals in tears as they bury tragic teenager Tory Johnston

By David Kearns

A community united in grief yesterday to say a final farewell to a young schoolgirl taken from them in tragic circumstances.

There were moving scenes as teenager Tory Johnston was laid to rest in Donegal.

The happy-go-lucky 17-year-old collapsed after apparently suffering a seizure at a Co Donegal nightclub in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

She died at Letterkenny General Hospital just after 6.30am despite attempts by doctors to keep her alive.

Hundreds of family and friends gathered to say their farewell to Tory as she was laid to rest in Letterkenny.

Tears tripped down the cheeks of her Loreto Convent school-friends who lined the route to the steps of St Eunan's Cathedral in their brown uniforms.

Tory's heartbroken family including mum Helen and only sister Amy wore purple ribbons in her memory while her dad Sammy wore a purple tie.

Fr Eamon Kelly said Tory's death had left the community shocked and stunned.

"Life's bitterness struck on a night of enjoyment, on a night out with friends," he said.

"The photographs on the wall of Tory's room are almost in competition for attention, each one capturing a moment of joy, an expression of life, a smile, a laugh, a time of fun with family and friends.

"With fashion, outfits, trends and styles, Tory was full of life and splendour and goodness, full of the vigour of youth, the holding of beauty, packed to overflowing with kindness, goodness, warmth and loveliness. But you already know that," he added.

"Tory loved life, loved family, loved friends, loved living," the congregation heard. Fr Kelly then pleaded with them: "Enrich her memory by living your life to the full potential, by telling those around how much you appreciate them and care for them."

A post-mortem failed to find a cause of death and gardai are awaiting the results of toxicology reports. Detectives believe more than 630 people attended the nightclub that night and have appealed to anybody with any information on Tory's movements to come forward.

Belfast Telegraph


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