Elisha Gault’s mother Grainne has said she has found herself “in the worst position in my life” as she announced the funeral arrangements for her daughter today.
Elisha's body was found in the river Suir on Sunday, eight days after she went missing.She will be buried on Thursday after funeral Mass.
The 14-year-old will lie in repose at her home in Carrick-on-Suir throughout Wednesday before being removed to the Church of the Assumption in Piltown, across the Tipperary-Kilkenny border, at 10am on Thursday morning for funeral Mass at 11am, before being buried in the adjoining cemetery.
“My gorgeous beautiful Elisha had a genuine soul but she was a troubled girl, for reasons I won’t discuss at this moment in time,” she said in a Facebook tribute today.
“She had a very loving family, friends and Edge Ydp [youth development project] who done their utmost to heal and support her but unfortunately we were unsuccessful.
"I have a hole in my heart that will never be filled, we had the funniest moments as did anyone who knows her, she was her own person and I just wish we had the answer that could have gave her inner strength.”
She thanked everyone who helped “over those eight dreaded days” on behalf of herself, Elisha’s father Cameron Moore, her sisters Bhrianna, Chloe-Nicole and Saoirse, and extended family and friends.
“Getting our baby back was the greatest gift you could have given us, so we can lay our beautiful wee angel to rest,” she stated.
She also urged anyone who comes across “negative comments” not to respond or react.
“We are surrounded by some genuinely amazing people with tremendous strength and beautiful hearts, but alas we also walk among children, teenagers and adults alike who are broken inside. They need our sympathy not our reactions.
"Mental health is a serious and desperate issue that has gripped not only our country but it’s an epidemic all over the world, we need to learn a better way, we need compassion and understanding, we need to let go of the negativity and fill our hearts with love and laughter.”
In relation to the funeral arrangements, she said they will leave their home at 10am on Thursday.
“We will carry our baby girl; I carried her into the world and I will carry her out again. We will make our way up to Dillon bridge where we will take a moment to pause and reflect and anyone who likes can throw a white flower off the bridge in the river.”
Grainne Gault extended a welcome to anyone who has been affected by Elisha’s story.
“We want you all to celebrate her laugh, we want laughter and music, because she so loved her tunes, she always wanted to make everyone happy with her messing, so I want to end the day in that spirit, I want the presence of Elisha, our wee Egg, to be felt in the most positive way possible.”
Family members have asked that, instead of sending flowers, donations can be made to Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue and The Edge Youth Project in Carrick.
The local river rescue group was one of 15 stage and voluntary agencies, along with the gardaí, involved in the eight-day search for Elisha.
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Psychologists specialising in helping students through difficult ordeals were yesterday giving help to teachers at the school attended by 14-year-old Elisha Gault, whose body was found in the River Suir on Sunday night after an eight-day search.
Elisha was a third-year student at Comeragh College in Carrick-on-Suir. Easter holidays began last Friday but the school opened yesterday for a number of hours to allow students to talk to each other and to teachers about their loss.
School principal, Kevin Langton, said in a statement:
We learned yesterday evening of the death of one of our students Elisha Gault. This is a terrible tragedy for her family, our school and our community. We are deeply saddened by this news. Our sympathy and thoughts are with Elisha’s family and friends. Offers of support have been pouring in and are greatly appreciated.
The school has implemented its critical incident management plan, with psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service present to support teachers as they attempt to help students deal with the tragedy.
Elisha Gault was last seen alive at about 10.15pm on St Patrick’s night, on Dillon Bridge in Carrick, having left her home a short time earlier.
A major search was mounted the following day after her family reported her missing amid growing concerns for her safety, and continued throughout last week led by gardaí from Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir and involving 15 separate state and voluntary agencies.
Her body was found shortly before 7pm on Sunday evening by crew members on the Coast Guard’s ER117 search and rescue helicopter.
Elisha is survived by her parents Grainne and Cameron and three sisters. Grainne Gault posted a photograph of Elisha on Facebook on Monday night, describing her as “my beautiful, funny intelligent baby girl” and said “our baby girl has been recovered, thank you all for your efforts in bringing her home to us, so we can now lay her to rest”.
Superintendent William Leahy from Clonmel Garda Station, who co-ordinated the search, thanked all who helped with the search operation and supported the family during the