Donegal teen death a ' personal tragedy' say police

  • 29 October 2012

The principal of a County Donegal schoolgirl who took her own life has asked parents to look at what their children do on social networking sites.

Frank Dooley, from Finn Valley College in Stranorlar, was speaking after the death of 13-year-old Erin Gallagher on Saturday.

Police have described the death of the 13-year-old as a "personal tragedy".

Her body has been taken to Letterkenny General Hospital for a post-mortem examination.

Frank Dooley said parents have a role to play in preventing similar tragedies.

"Parents should advise their teenage children to be respectful and to be truthful on social media.

"We cannot control, as teachers, what children may say at home, but we know there is a lot of careless gossip and a lot of blame thrown around in social media circles.

"We also have a lot of Chinese whispering, something is said, it is exaggerated and then it becomes a total lie.

"Unfortunately, tragic death among young people has been increasing in Ireland for quite some time.

"It is something that we would do our very best to counsel children and parents on, in preventing tragic and unforeseen death.

"Quite clearly we have failed here but that doesn't mean we haven't been working very hard on it over the years."