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

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.

Tuesday, 2nd May 2017, 5:10 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:38 pm
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.

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

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.

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

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.

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."

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 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."

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 etching of Elaine's name in her old bedroom.
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 21 butterflies represent the 21 years Elaine was alive before her tragic death.