Family pay tribute to 'warm, bubbly' Eimear Noonan after tragic death in France

An Irish woman who had been reported missing in southeast France has been found dead in a public park.

Eimear Noonan, aged 20, was reported missing by her family last week.

Her body was found in a park in Annonay, 100km north of Marseille, on Friday morning, it was revealed today.

A Government official said police believe Ms Noonan’s death was an accident. It is believed she fell into water, where she drowned, having been knocked unconscious.

An autopsy will be carried out on the body today or tomorrow.

Ms Noonan, a teacher, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon when it is understood she was going for a run. Her parents arrived in Annonay with the Irish Consul on Saturday.

Family and friends of the Irishwoman had appealed for information on her whereabouts had started a social media campaign appealing for information.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance.

Eimear Noonan. Pic: Amelia Donnellan, UCC Students Union

Her family recently launched a social media campaign for information on her whereabouts, but tonight a statement on brother Cathal’s Facebook page confirmed the sad news.

“We, the family of Eimear Noonan, would like to thank all of those who have supported us in recent days. French authorities have now confirmed to us the heartbreaking news that our beloved Eimear died following a fall while running on Wednesday,” it read.

“Eimear celebrated her 21st birthday in April and had been living in Annonay since September where she worked as an English language teacher.

“Eimear was a warm, bubbly person who had already made a wide circle of friends there through her love of music and singing.

“She graduated last month from UCC with an honours degree in Irish and French, was a talented violinist and to our immense pride was head of UCC orchestra for her final year there.

“Eimear will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially her parents Flan and Mary, her brothers Declan, Michael and Cathal and all her family and friends.

“We will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received in recent days. We would like to thank the Irish and French authorities and the people of Annonay for the kindness and compassion they have shown us.

“We now appeal for privacy in this most difficult time as we bring Eimear home to her beloved Lough Graney and start the journey of grieving.”

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