Fourteen-year-old Barra girl Eilidh MacLeod, missing since the Manchester bomb explosion on Monday, is dead, her family confirmed in a statement issued today (Thursday).
Eilidh and her friend Laura MacIntyre (15) were at a concert in the Manchester Arena when the attack happened. Laura is in hospital in a stable condition but with serious injuries.
The MacLeod family statement said: “Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh.
“Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band
“As a family, we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time.”
The Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, Bishop Brian McGee has travelled to Barra to visit the families of Eilidh and Laura.
He said: “This is a time of terrible anguish for the MacLeod and MacIntyre families. Spending time with the relatives of both girls was a reminder of the human cost of acts of terror. Such acts leave families broken, lives scarred and innocence destroyed, my thoughts and prayers are with the families at this traumatic time.”
Parish priest Father John Paul MacKinnon added: “Barra is an island of close bonds and deep faith. The ripples of pain spreading out from the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night are amplified here in such a small community. While everyone in the community is affected, it is the families of Eilidh and Laura who are in the greatest pain. The Church joins with the whole community in praying for them and offering them every support.”
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar is ensuring additional support for staff and pupils is available at Castlebay Community School, which Eilidh attended.
The comhairle is also in discussions with the SQA regarding the exceptional circumstances for pupils in Castlebay who are sitting exams in the coming week.
A comhairle spokesman said: “We are continuing to closely monitor events. We are mindful of the impact on pupils and staff at the school and are providing all necessary support.”