Leading article

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Nora Quoirin

For nine days, people throughout Ireland and beyond have been hoping and praying that vulnerable 15-year-old Nóra Quoirin, missing from a jungle resort in Malaysia, would be found and returned safely to her distraught family.

Yesterday came the devastating news that Nóra's body had been discovered near a waterfall, over a mile from the holiday home in Dusun from where she disappeared on Sunday August 4.

This has been a most distressing, harrowing and ultimately tragic story.

Nóra, her mother Meabh, who is from Belfast, father Sebastien, from France and two younger siblings had arrived at the Malaysian resort on Saturday August 3, for what was described as the trip of a lifetime.

However, the next morning Nóra was reported missing after it was discovered she was not in her bedroom and a window in the house was open.

While Malaysian police treated her disappearance as a missing person investigation and launched a search, the teenager's parents believed she had been abducted, pointing out that due to her learning disabilities she was 'not like other 15-year-olds' and would never go anywhere alone.

Meabh Quoirin explained that Nóra was born with the brain condition holoprosencephaly which meant she was not independent and had difficulty walking.

Despite widespread searches, international attention and heartfelt appeals by the family, there was no sign of the missing girl.

On Monday the family offered a reward of £10,000 for information leading to her return, then yesterday came the worst possible news.

It is not clear how Nóra ended up at a remote spot more than a mile from the resort or how long she had been there. According to police the body 'was not in any clothings' and they were looking at all possibilities in terms of their investigation.

A post mortem due to be carried out today may shed some light on how she died but there are obviously questions to be answered.

Both the Irish and French authorities have offered assistance and it is important all available resources are utilised.

While the investigative process continues, all thoughts and sympathy will be with Nóra's family, who have been plunged into an unimaginable nightmare.

They have conducted themselves with immense dignity over this awful period but they will need every support in the difficult days and weeks ahead.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe from just £1 for the first month to get full access

Leading article

Today's horoscope


See a different horoscope: