Northern Ireland news

'Gone to be an angel too soon' - tributes follow death of Co Donegal girl who had battled brain tumour

Caitlin Strain from Burnfoot died on Sunday at Letterkenny University Hospital. Picture by Gofundme
Paul Ainsworth

TRIBUTES have been paid to Co Donegal girl Caitlin Strain after the nine-year-old lost her battle with cancer on Sunday.

Hailing from the border village of Burnfoot, close to Derry, little Caitlin had been diagnosed with a brain tumour in February 2021, and underwent three surgeries and extensive chemotherapy in a bid to halt the disease.

In recent months, an online fundraising campaign had gathered over €127,000 to help her receive treatment in the US.

Her family had travelled with her to Texas in August after learning her previous surgeries in Germany had failed to work.

Other fundraising in recent months for Caitlin included a traditional Irish music event in Burnfoot attended by musicians from Derry and Donegal.

Following news of her death, which occurred at Letterkenny University Hospital, tributes to Caitlin were posted online.

Donegal GAA club Robert Emmets said in a post members were "extremely saddened to hear of the heartbreaking passing of Caitlin Strain"

They added: "We as a club and community came together in Caitlin's battle. Caitlin's daddy Thomas taught music in our club and we offer Thomas and Caitlin's mum Eimear, along with her loving sisters Maria, Danielle, and Laura and her loving brother Michael our heartfelt sympathies."

Kathleen Grant wrote in a Facebook post: "Words cannot express what we feel for Caitlin's lovely parents and her brother and sisters and grandparents...at this very sad time.

"Also her school friends and the school management who were all so good to Caitlin. So so sorry. Caitlin you were a beautiful young girl, gone to be an angel too soon."

A funeral mass for Caitlin will take place on Tuesday at St Aengus' Church in Burt, followed by interment in St Mura's Cemetery in Fahan.

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