Ella Mills, a Columbia University student, who had only arrived in the US from Ireland this month, passed away following an incident on the Potomac River, near Washington DC on Sunday, September 17.
Trinity College has confirmed the death of Ella Mills, a third-year English studies student who was attending Columbia University in New York. The Dublin student had traveled with the Columbia University Whitewater Kayaking Club to the Potomac River, where the fatal accident occurred on Sunday afternoon.
Mills had arrived in the United States earlier in September to study in New York as part of a dual BA program. A statement from Columbia University said that Mills is survived by her parents, a brother, and a sister.
Trinity College Dublin said: "The Trinity College Dublin community is grieving the tragic loss of Ella Mills, an English Studies student who passed away on 17th September 2023.
"Ella was studying at Columbia University as part of a dual BA program with Trinity.
"Her family, friends and classmates are in our minds at this difficult time," it added.
Columbia University President Minouche Shafik said "words cannot express" how heartbroken she feels for Mills' family and friends.
The Dean of the School of General Studies, Lisa Rosen-Metsch, said "Ella had a love for learning, was intellectually curious, and passionate about literature."
She continued, saying that Mills was "eager to soak in new ways of looking at literature and viewing the world as a literary scholar". She also hailed Mills' involvement in drama and tennis societies.
"She was an active member of the Trinity College Dublin community as part of the TCD drama society, the DU Players, the TCD Tennis Club, and the Philosophical Society, among many others," Rosen-Metsch said.
A reflection service for Mills was held at Columbia University on Monday. A vigil will be held on Tuesday evening. Columbia University has said it will be providing counseling services to support students.
Ronan Walsh, Head of School at Dublin's Sutton Park School, said: "It is with great sadness that I write to let you know that our former pupil Ella Mills died tragically in a Kayaking accident on Sunday in Washington DC.
"Ella was a much cherished past student of Sutton Park School.
"Ella’s Mum Jo-Ann Feely will be known to many of you as Chair of our Board Of Management. Our hearts are broken for Jo-Ann, Ralph, and Ella’s two siblings Isabel and Leo who are in Second Year.
"This is a truly tragic time. Words fail us all. Our sympathies and thoughts are with Ella’s family and her large group of friends.
"There are no further details to share."
Ireland's Department of Foreign Affairs has stated it is "aware of this tragic incident and is providing support and assistance to the family."