NEWS

Sadness in tight-knit community at tragic death

Communities on both sides of the border in mourning for Rhonda O'Loughlin

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Sadness in tight-knit community at tragic death

There is sadness in the tightly-knit community of Laghey in south Donegal at the tragic end of a search for Rhonda O'Loughlin who went missing last month.

Gardaí confirmed on Tuesday evening that a body found at  Ballybulgan near Bridgetown was that of Ms O'Loughlin (34).

The discovery was made in a field at around 4pm on Tuesday close to where Ms O’Loughlin had been last seen at around 1.30pm on Sunday, September 23.

The circumstances of the death are not being treated as suspicious.

Originally from Beragh in Co Tyrone, she had been living in the Bridgetown area for a number of months.

She worked as a nurse in London before returning home a number of years ago and resided at the family home before moving to Bridgetown.

Dozens of people from the Bergah area had joined the wider family circle in the search.

Gardaí thanked the public for their assistance in the search which also involved army personnel, members of the Civil Defence. Gardaí made door to door inquiries in the local area and appealed to property owners and farmers to check empty buildings, sheds, and outhouses.

A member of the O’Loughlin family in Laghey thanked everyone who took part in the search and supported Ms O’Loughlin’s partner Martin and her family in Tyrone.

Local councillor Micheál Naughton, who lives in the area, said the discovery of the body was a tragic outcome.

“It is a very sad day for the O’Loughlin family. It's a tragedy and our thoughts go out to her extended family. It is very sad for the area that something like this happened. It is a tight-knit community and everyone knows everyone.”

Anyone with any concerns about themselves or a loved one can contact the Pieta House suicide helpline, 1800 247 247, or by texting Help to 51444, or contact the Samaritans on the free number, 116 123, or by texting 087 260 9090.

Both services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People are also advised to make an appointment with their local GP during office hours. During evenings, nights or weekends, from 6pm to 8am, people can contact an out-of-hours GP service at NowDoc, 1850 400 911.