Editor's Viewpoint: Let us keep teen's family in our prayers after devastating outcome to desperate search that touched hearts everywhere
The devastating news about the death of teenager Nora Quoirin has shocked and deeply saddened people everywhere.
Her vulnerability touched all of us and the exact circumstances of her death — as yet largely unknown — has added to the tragedy of it all.
Not surprisingly, Nora’s deeply grieving family have vowed to pursue “more answers” to their “many questions”.
This is a complex search for answers which may take a long time to reach its conclusion. Meanwhile, the enormity of what happened in human terms, and the torment of the family, has been felt all over the world, and no more so than in Northern Ireland.
There is a palpable sense that this tragic girl of 15, whose mother comes from Belfast, was one of our own. She was christened in the city and many of her wider family circle still live here.
In these days of technology and almost instant global connections and information-sharing, we tend to think of this vast world as being much smaller, more local, than it is.
Nevertheless, in many ways the world has become so small. News of Nora’s absence and appeals by the family for help went viral immediately.
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This sad story thrust into the global spotlight a family experiencing the very worst while holidaying on the other side of the world, where their child was lost in unfamiliar and inhospitable terrain.
In the very worst of times her family must have been able to draw some comfort from the many sources being rallied to help, and some solace from the many expressions of sympathy from strangers in so many different places.
There was tangible help too, including an offer from a Belfast businessman of a substantial reward for information about Nora’s whereabouts.
Money poured in to a fundraising page to support Nora’s family while the search for her continued; prayers were said in churches locally and across the world, and, after Nora’s body was found, books of condolence was opened too, including in Belfast City Hall.
Sadly, the news was not what everyone had been hoping for, and people’s worst fears were realised.
Meanwhile, her family still continue to suffer terribly as they try to come to terms with their dreadful loss and seek answers they desperately need.
Let us hope they receive the fullest help and understanding, and that, although they may feel very alone at times in their anguish, in fact they remain in all our thoughts and prayers.