DROMORE High School has again found itself swept along on a shockwave of grief after the apparent suicide of another of its pupils, described as a popular student and the light of her mother's life.
At the epicentre stands the rural village community of Drumlough, stunned by the death of 14 year-old Kerry Moulds, hailed an intelligent, lively and trustworthy girl, who could "light up a room".
A member of the public discovered the teenager in Hillsborough Forest Park on Thursday morning; police, investigating the circumstances surrounding her death, said they were not treating it as suspicious.
As news of the shock discovery spread, family and friends posted messages of condolence on Kerry's internet Bebo page, while in nearby Dromore it had a devastating effect at the local high school, where teachers and pupils alike were said to be "numbed".
It was less than two years ago that the school was rocked by the suicide of Dromore girl Naomi Wilson, found dead at her Maypole Road home on her 15th birthday, October 9, 2007. A school spokesperson said last week, "Yesterday we received tragic news about the untimely death of one of our Year 10 students – Kerry Moulds; our hearts go out to the family circle, who have to face this tragedy, and we pray for God's support and comfort for them.
"Already the news of Kerry's death has had a devastating effect upon the school; students and teachers alike have been numbed.
"The school will be much less as a result of Kerry's passing; she had a beautiful personality, lively and trustworthy.
"Kerry was a very popular student and was the light in her mother's life."
She added, "Many of our school community experienced with Kerry a close friendship many of us never do.
"She was a very intelligent girl, in our top band, and was looking forward to a bright future; her aim was to work in a caring environment where she could help others."
Some months ago, Kerry had enjoyed a holiday to Las Vegas with her mother and more recently attended the North West 200, reluctantly returning home ahead of her end-of-year exams.
"The school - pupils, staff and governors - are sympathetic to the whole family circle," the spokesperson added, "and we continue to pray that they will receive strength to face the days in front of them."
'TALK OVER PROBLEMS WITH SOMEONE YOU TRUST' COUNCILLOR URGES TROUBLED TEENS
A DROMORE councillor who lost his own father to suicide has appealed to troubled teens to talk about their problems with someone they trust.
Paul Rankin's call follows the death last week of Dromore High School student Kerry Moulds (14) from Drumlough, found in Hillsborough Park on Thursday after apparently taking her own life.
Meanwhile, Dromore Youth for Christ took to the streets of the town centre later on Thursday to speak to local teens who may have been affected by news of Kerry's death; according to Mr. Rankin the team reported a busy night.
"I would like to pass on to the family circle my thoughts and prayers," said Mr. Rankin. "I experienced similar circumstances when my father took his life, but of course it is much worse when it involves a young person.
"I would appeal to any young person experiencing problems to talk about them; talk to someone they trust."
Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson, whose ministerial brief includes efforts to deal with the issue of teenage suicide, also offered his condolences to Kerry's family and friends.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Kerry's family at what must be an absolutely devastating time for them," he said. "This is a tragedy not only for the family but also for Kerry's many friends at Dromore High School, and at a critical time, in the middle of exams, some of the young people will be deeply affected by this and I know the school will provide the support and care they need at this time.
"As minister with particular responsibility for children and young people's policy I am aware that teenage suicide is a major issue and we are working with a range of agencies to try and deal with this problem and to provide people with the support they need. "However, it is often the case that a suicide is unexpected, and sometimes shrouded in mystery, and that makes it even more difficult for family to come to terms with what has happened.
"It is therefore an issue that we need to continue giving priority to, in the hope that more young people can be given help and that further such suicides can be prevented in future."