Condolences offered to Quoirins over ‘every family’s worst nightmare’

President, Taoiseach and French embassy offer sympathies and thank searchers

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has offered condolences to the family of Nóra Quoirin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins has offered condolences to the family of Nóra Quoirin. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire


President Michael D Higgins has offered his sympathies to the family of Nóra Quoirin and expressed gratitude to search teams after the body of the 15-year-old was discovered in a rainforest in Malaysia.

Search teams had been combing the area for 10 days before the discovery was made about 2km from the Dusun resort on Tuesday.

“Sabina and I offer our deepest condolences to Nóra’s parents, Meabh and Sebastien, to Nóra’s siblings and to her extended family,” Mr Higgins said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon.

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I would also like to express my gratitude for the assistance given by the Malaysian authorities in the search for Nóra, for the volunteers who answered the call to join the search and for all those throughout Malaysia, Ireland, Britain and France who offered what support they could.

“Our thoughts and prayers are now with Nóra’s family at this most difficult time.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar also expressed his condolences. “Our thoughts and sincere condolences are with Nóra Quoirin’s parents, siblings and wider family at this unimaginably difficult time,” he said.

“They have experienced every family’s worst nightmare. I’d like to pay tribute to everyone who searched for Nóra. May she rest in peace.”

Consular assistance

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said officials from the Irish consular services were liaising with the family.

“Irish and French embassies in Malaysia working together to provide every assistance to the Quoirin family,” he posted on Twitter. “Irish embassy is in touch with Malaysian authorities on today’s discovery of a body. At this harrowing time all of our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

The official Twitter account of the Embassy of France in Ireland said French ministers Jean-Yves Le Drian and Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne “were sad to learn Nóra Quoirin’s death today and express their condolences to her family and close friends”.

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald issued a statement in which she said her “heart is broken for the family of Nóra Quoirin”.

“I cannot begin to imagine their grief,” she said. “What started as a holiday of a lifetime has ended in this unimaginable tragedy. I wish to offer my deepest condolences to Nóra’s family and loved ones at this sad time.”

Former senator Jillian van Turnhout said news of the discovery of the teenager’s body was “devastating”.

“Thinking of the family and friends of Nóra Quoirin,” she said. “Devastating news. Heartfelt thanks from Ireland to all the volunteers and locals who helped in the search for Nóra Quoirin.”

Irish band Kodaline also took to Twitter to issue condolences. “So saddened to hear the latest news coming out of Malaysia about Nóra Quoirin,” it said. “Our sincerest condolences to her parents and their whole network of family and friends.”