Northern Ireland news

Belfast woman (28) who died suddenly in France a 'truly beautiful soul'

Leah Weir (28) died suddenly while on holiday in France

A 28-year-old woman who died suddenly while on holiday in France with friends was described yesterday as a "truly beautiful soul".

On Saturday, just a day before her death, Leah Weir had posted a picture of herself on Facebook enjoying her sun break.

Among the group of eight friends pictured in holiday snaps shared on social media is former Miss Great Britain Gemma Garrett.

Ms Weir, who was from the Shankill area of west Belfast, worked at Bellaire Hair and Beauty in the city centre.

Colleagues yesterday paid tribute, releasing a statement expressing their devastation at her loss.

"This weekend, the Bellaire family lost a truly beautiful soul. We want the world to see and appreciate what it's lost in our amazing friend.

"You were too beautiful a soul for this earth, and we are thankful beyond measure to have had you as part of our lives. There is a Leah shaped hole in our hearts, until we meet again."

Leah Weir (28) posted this joyful picture just a day before her death

Carly Bell Hoey, who was on the trip with Ms Weir, said she had been talking about her "next adventure" and told them she had had "the best day of your life" just the night before her death.

"To wake up to such devastation this morning has ripped the hearts from us all," she wrote on Facebook.

"You are the most precious beautiful soul and we are so blessed to have got to spend the last few days with you having the absolute time of our lives.

"We will never forget the gut-wrenching moment and had the painful task of telling those who cared about you that you'd gone.

"...You could no longer fight your demons, there are no magic pills or quick fixes for your mental health."

Other friends have also been flooding Facebook to express their shock and grief and pay tribute to a "beautiful person inside and out".

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