Derry daughter's name found etched on old bedroom wall 26 years after her death

Top left, clockwise, Elaine Ryan; the etching of her name on her old bedroom wall in William Street; the permanent feature, created by younger brother Terry Ryan in Elaine's old room.
Top left, clockwise, Elaine Ryan; the etching of her name on her old bedroom wall in William Street; the permanent feature, created by younger brother Terry Ryan in Elaine's old room.
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The family of a Derry woman killed in a road traffic collision 26 years ago got a shock when they started redecorating her old bedroom recently.

Elaine Ryan was knocked down and killed in January 1991 on the Derry to Letterkeny road.

Elaine pictured shortly before her death with her younger brother, Terry, who was two years-old at the time.

Elaine pictured shortly before her death with her younger brother, Terry, who was two years-old at the time.

Elaine and her friends were on their way to Letterkenny to celebrate Elaine's up-and-coming 21st birthday.

Sadly, Elaine was killed and was buried the day before her 21st birthday.

Elaine's younger brother, Terry, was two years-old when she was tragically killed.

Last week, Terry and his father started redecorating Elaine's old bedroom in the family home in William Street.

The etching of Elaine's name in her old bedroom.

The etching of Elaine's name in her old bedroom.

As Terry and his dad removed the old wallpaper from inside the room they were shocked to find Elaine's name written on the wall.

"We couldn't believe it when we saw it," said Terry. "It was Elaine's name - she must have written it on the wall shortly before she died."

Terry said the discovery came as such a shock the family decided to turn the etching into a permanent feature.

"My dad and I couldn't bring ourselves to paint over Elaine's name so we decided to put a frame around it. The 21 butterflies that you can see represent the 21 years Elaine was alive before her death."

The artwork created in honour of Elaine by her younger brother, Terry, who was two years-old when his sister was killed in 1991.

The artwork created in honour of Elaine by her younger brother, Terry, who was two years-old when his sister was killed in 1991.

Terry added: "We think it's a nice wee story and given all the negative stories that have been coming out Derry recently we thought it would be nice to share this story - hopefully a few of Elaine's old friends will see this."

The 21 butterflies represent the 21 years Elaine was alive before her tragic death.

The 21 butterflies represent the 21 years Elaine was alive before her tragic death.