Sisters Erin, (13), and Shannon, (15), Gallagher Photo by: Donegal Daily

Irish health department implements incident group in response to death of sisters' in Donegal


Sisters Erin, (13), and Shannon, (15), Gallagher Photo by: Donegal Daily

A group of mental health professionals have been drafted in by the Health Service Executive (HSE) in Donegal, to support Shannon Gallagher’s schoolmates and teachers after the teenager took her own life on Wednesday, just six weeks after her sister Erin died.

The 15-year-old was grieving following the suicide of her younger sister Erin, who took her own life after being bullied by Internet trolls.

Posting on Facebook moments before taking her life, Shannon wrote: “So hard wrapping christmas presents without you baby girl :( miss you more and more every day, will be up to the grave to see you this week, love you loads baby girl.”

Read More: Mother of Donegal sisters who committed suicide speaks out about the pain and hurt

Her  body was discovered on Wednesday night, the teenager was due to celebrate her 16th birthday on December 23.

Both psychologists and mental health experts are on hand to students and staff at Finn Valley College in Stranorlar in the wake of the double tragedy.

Psychologists from the Department of Education’s National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) were at the  Donegal school as part of the critical incident team.

“They are supporting the school staff in responding to the needs of the pupils at this difficult time. They are working in collaboration with colleagues from the National Office of Suicide Prevention and the HSE clinical psychology, and child and adolescent mental health services,” a department spokesperson said.

Read More: Tragedy as Donegal teenager found dead just months after her sister’s suicide

HSE Suicide Resource Officer for Donegal, Anne Sheridan told RTE’s Morning Ireland they were liaising with people in the community in the wake of the tragedy.

“Our first priority is to liaise with the bereaved family and the extended family to ensure them that any support needed in the days and weeks ahead will be provided,” Sheridan said.

“It’s a very difficult time for the entire community in this area.”


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