Northern Ireland

Family of Derry teenage girl warn of dangers of experimenting with drugs after her ecstasy death

Caitlin McLaughlin died in June after taking an ecstasy tablet at a concert
Caitlin McLaughlin died in June after taking an ecstasy tablet at a concert Caitlin McLaughlin died in June after taking an ecstasy tablet at a concert

The family of a teenage girl from Derry who died after taking an ecstasy tablet have spoken out about her tragic death in a bid to highlight the dangers of experimenting with drugs.

Caitlin McLaughlin, who was just 16, collapsed and died in June after taking ecstasy at a music concert.

A pupil at St Cecilia's College, she was remembered as being a "caring and beautiful" girl.

On Friday, a mural was being unveiled in her memory in the Galliagh area of the city where she grew up, on what would have been her 17th birthday.

Her uncle Mo Mahon said the family have been left heartbroken by her death.

"She was having the time of her life," he told BBC Radio Foyle's North West Today.

"What we know now is that she took an ecstasy tablet.

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"She was on her way to the bus after the concert and she collapsed. Her friends thought she had gone over on her ankle.

"Caitlin had actually taken a heart attack. They did everything they could in hospital, but Caitlin passed away."

He added that the family are urging others to not take drugs.

"Caitlin went out as a teenager to have fun," he said.

"She experimented, took a drug and is no longer here.

"People do not know what they are taking. Caitlin will now be forever 16, which is heart-breaking.

"We don't want this to happen to another family."