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'Utterly tragic' - Possible drugs link after 15-year-old girl dies in Armagh woods

The girl was rushed to hospital yesterday evening.

Police were called to Corcrain Community Woodland. (File photo)
Police were called to Corcrain Community Woodland. (File photo)
Image: Shutterstock

POLICE IN ARMAGH are investigating whether a 15-year-old girl who died in the Portadown area died after taking drugs.

The young teenage girl was taken to Craigavon Area Hospital at about 6pm yesterday after she fell unconscious in a wooded area in Corcrain. She subsequently died in hospital.

A large number of young people were in the area at the time.

“At this early stage of the investigation, one of our lines of enquiry is a possible link to drugs,” PSNI chief inspector Joe McMinn said today.

“A post mortem examination will be carried out to determine the exact cause of death,” he added.

Police arrived at the scene yesterday evening and McMinn said that officers believe there may be many potential witnesses.

“There were a large number of young people in the Corcrain area when police arrived and we are appealing to anyone who was in that area yesterday and who has any information which could help us with our enquiries to contact police,” he said.

The tragic death of the young girl has prompted a number of expressions of sympathy.

The girl was a pupil at Craigavon Senior High School and the school released a statement today noting that the circumstances of the death are not yet known.

“This is a tragic loss to the pupil’s family and to our school community,” the school said.

In response, the school has implemented a plan which will give pupils the opportunity to talk through their thoughts and feelings with trained staff from the Education Authority Critical Incident Response Team.

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Politicians have also been expressing sympathy with the family of the young girl with DUP MP David Simpson calling it “utterly tragic”.

“I know the community well and I know they will pull together and help where they can,” he said.

To hear of a life ending in such circumstances is horrific for everyone but none more than family and friends.  A young life cut down so early. The scene is one of tragedy and devastation.

Local Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd said that “the entire community is in shock” following the death.

Read: Man who crashed car after taking six ecstasy tablets jailed for two years >

Read: Gardaí seize almost €800,000 worth of cannabis in two operations >

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Rónán Duffy

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