Tyrone schoolgirl who fell ill in Mournes ‘recovering well’

Mourne Mountains. Pic from Orange Order Calendar
Mourne Mountains. Pic from Orange Order Calendar

The Dungannon schoolgirl who took seriously ill during a Duke of Edinburgh expedition in the Mourne Mountains, is recovering well at home, the Head Master of her school has said.

The girl suffered severe hypothermia and lost consciousness after conditions deteriorated on Slieve Beg earlier this week.

She was part of a team of students from the Royal School and St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon.

Dr David Burnett, Royal School Principal, said the young people had done a “brilliant job” when they realised one of the party was in distress.

“Seven of the group were able to walk down the mountain with a guide,” he said.

“The others stayed behind with the girl who had fallen ill.”

“They weren’t casualties but stayed behind with her in the tent until help arrived. The pupil who took ill was stretchered down, and then checked by paramedics.

“She did not need hospital treatment, but was reunited with her mother who subsequently took her home.

“Having spoken to her family...she is doing well and making a good recovery at home.”

Dr Burnett also said that the other ten pupils in the group had returned to the Mournes the morning after the incident to complete their expedition.

Members of her group contacted the emergency services and the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team was called to the scene.

Martin McMullan from the rescue service said all 11 group members, aged 16 and 17, were quickly found and treated.

The rescue team doctor and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service were involved in the rescue.

Mr McMullan said the teenagers’ quick thinking and help for each other prevented a more serious situation.

“When you’re in the mountains, the conditions are a part of it [and] you’re working a little bit harder, you’re carrying a rucksack on your back,” he said.

“There are a lot of different factors that do take their toll on individuals.