‘Be brave’ - Jodie Lee told her friends in St Mary’s College

Jodie Lee.
Jodie Lee.

The school community of St Mary’s College in Derry have penned an emotional tribute to their year ten pupil Jodie Lee.

Staff and pupils returned to school on Monday morning to the devastating news that Jodie Lee, was one of five family members who lost their lives in the Buncrana Pier tragedy on Sunday evening.

In an emotional tribute on the school website Jodie Lee is described by her form teacher, Mr Sean McBride, as ‘a beautiful, loving, caring, funny and intelligent young lady who brought a glow of happiness into St Mary’s College’.

She always had a big smile on her face and had an infectious laugh. He says it was an honour getting to know this wonderful young person.

Jodie Lee was loved dearly by all of her classmates as well as others who knew her throughout the school. She made a great contribution to the life of the school and to the life of her Form Class C17.

Her Year Head, Mrs Caitriona Devlin, spoke of how she was looking forward to moving into the Senior School next September. She had recently submitted her subject choices for GCSE and told Mrs Devlin that she was really excited about studying GCSE History.

She also had a very positive outlook on life which she displayed through ‘little quotes of wisdom’.

As she stood in the queue recently on the day the school nurses came to administer injections. She was overheard saying to some nervous girls ‘be brave and stop acting like a girl you will be alright!”

Another now poignant message which she shared was “Enjoy the little things in Life … for one day you will look back and realize they were the big things.”

She loved her style and her makeup. She absolutely loved Justin Bieber – she even had a singing Justin Bieber pencil case. She enjoyed going to Starbucks cafe with her friends to relax at the weekends.

One of her friends shared this memory about her, “I remember walking in to Form Class every morning and seeing Jodie’s smile, her smile was always the first thing I would see because she was always laughing and showing that amazing smile of hers.”

Another friend summed up the feelings of the class by writing, “God only takes the best young. Fly high beautiful Angel. Love you and you will be missed loads xxxx.”

Her other passion was Derry City Football Club where her brother Josh is a member of the Team. As a tribute to her and to her brother the girls in her Form Class have been busy making little red and white ribbons to wear on their blazers at her funeral.

The impact of this devastating event has deeply scarred all those who knew her. Her loss will be felt forever in St Mary’s College. She will always be in our thoughts and prayers. May she Rest in Peace.