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Jill Amante

Tributes paid to 'lovely, charismatic' 14-year-old girl who died after getting into difficulty off Louth coast

The teenager, who lived in Drogheda, was airlifted to hospital yesterday.

THE FAMILY OF a teenage girl who died on Friday after getting into difficulty while swimming off the Louth coast have paid tribute to her, describing her as a “happy, and special child”.

Jill Amante was 14 years old, and lived in Aston Village, Drogheda, attending school at Ballymakenny College. Family, friends and the local community have been paying tribute to a girl whom they describe as “a charismatic, lively, bubbly, outgoing, beautiful young lady who was taken from us way too soon”.

On Friday, the Irish Coast Guard was alerted to an incident involving a missing swimmer off Termonfeckin beach at about 1.30pm after a girl had been pulled out to sea by a rip current.

A winchman was lowered into the sea after she had been spotted from the air. She was airlifted by rescue helicopter R116 to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where she was described as being in a serious condition; she was later pronounced dead. 

Her parents Alex and Mercy, and her aunt Jemima paid tribute to her in an interview with the Sunday World today, describing her as a “lovely, happy, special child” who was “a credit to her mum”.  

The Amante family are originally from Ghana, but her father Alex said that Jill’s accent was “so Irish sometimes even I couldn’t understand her.”

“She loved living in this country… it was her home. Three days ago she told me she wanted to be an engineer, just three days ago and now this.”

Local councillor Tom Cunningham said that he “can’t imagine what this family is going through” and said that his “thoughts and prayers are with them”.

“Like everyone else in the country, [Jill] was just enjoying the good weather and was spending time with friends.”

Another local councillor Ged Nash posted to Facebook to offer his “sincerest sympathies to the Amante family, to all of Jill’s friends and to the school community at Ballymakenny College.”

This is such a tragic loss and the family can be assured that the people of Drogheda will rally around in support at this time of unspeakable grief and loss.
Parents in Drogheda and beyond are hugging their kids a little bit tighter today. Rest in peace, Jill.

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