A portrait of a fun loving and popular young girl drawn from comments by friends both here in America and back in Ireland has emerged about Phoebe Prince, the tragic young Irish girl who was bullied to death.
Locals in Fanore a small village in West Clare, who remember her fondly are happy justice is now being served as news crosses the Atlantic this week that nine teenagers were charged in connection with the suicide of the local Irish girl .
Pat O’Donoghue, proprietor of O’Donoghue’s Bar in the small seaside town told Irishcentral.com on Tuesday the village welcomed the news that the teenagers in South Hadley, Massachusetts involved in bullying Phoebe before she took her own life will be held accountable.
“We are happy with the news. It’s tough with kids at that age and it certainly doesn’t bring poor Phoebe back but at least some justice is being done,” said O’Donoghue.”
Phoebe moved from England to Fanore when she was two with her British father, Jeremy Prince, and her American mother, Annie O’Brien Prince, her sisters Lauren, Tessa and Bridget, and brother Simon.
“They lived here for a number of years. What can I say?” asked O’Donoghue. “It’s just so sad.”
Jeremy moved the family to Ireland to set up a blueberry farm in Fanore, and shortly after Annie got a job teaching in Lisdoonvarna.
“They are the nicest family. They contributed to society and always had a good word to say,” said O’Donoghue. “They were often down in the pub here with us and fitted right in.”
Phoebe’s older sister, Tessa worked in O’Donoghue’s for many years helping out.
“Tessa is a wonderful girl and was always very pleasant when she worked here,” said O’Donoghue.
“When we heard the news over here about what happened in January we were shocked. The whole community is still very shaken up over it, and I don’t just mean us here in Fanore. The people of Lisdoonvarna and Doolin too because we are all very close (in proximity).”
O’Donoghue said the Prince family are all in the U.S. trying to come to terms with what happened to Phoebe.
Meanwhile back in the U.S. class mates of Phoebe remember her fondly "She was so outgoing and she just kind of drew you in," South Hadley High School freshman Meghan Kennedy, told the Daily Hampshire Gazette. "The second you met her you wanted to know everything about her. She could have this life conversation with you like you knew her. It was really nice to meet her."
"She had this thing about her," said Kennedy, who described her as "a beautiful, charming and overall sweet girl to everyone who knew her."
Darragh Joyce, a friend from Limerick who met Prince on at Villiers, a co-ed boarding school in Limerick, Ireland, said she liked to read Shakespeare and Dante. She enjoyed movies like "Donnie Darko" and bands like My Chemical Romance. Her favorite subjects in school were English and home economics.
He said Prince had a "big presence" in every class.
"The teachers were always telling her to stop laughing," said Joyce. "She had a very contagious laugh so everyone would laugh when she would laugh even if it wasn't funny."
Her very popularity may have got her in trouble when she moved to SouthHadley
"Her adjustment problem was she got popular quick and she ran right up against the beautiful kids," South Hadley parent Lucas Gelinas told the New Hampshire newspaper . "She started taking some of that magnetism away from them."
Phoebe also kept much of the inner anguish to herself. She missed her father, Jeremy Prince, a gardener in Ireland.
But heartbroken friends in Ireland thought she was adjusting well in America.
"On Phoebe's networking pages she had pictures of loads of new friends," said Joyce, 15. "Everyone thought she got along fine."
In Ireland, he said, "she was the biggest presence in the class and everyone wanted to be her friend."
Alas things turned out far different when she moved to America. Now friend son both sides of the Atlantic are left to grieve."It is a sad day for us all" said Pat O'Donoghue.