'Vivacious' Eilidh MacLeod, 14, from close-knit Scottish island of Barra confirmed dead as her friend is in critical condition

Eilidh MacLeod has been confirmed dead by her parents - Facebook
Eilidh MacLeod has been confirmed dead by her parents - Facebook

A "vivacious" teenager from the picturesque Scottish island of Barra has been confirmed dead by her parents.

Eilidh MacLeod, 14, was killed in the blast at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester on Monday evening, which she attended with her close friend Laura MacIntyre, 15, who was located in hospital nearly 20 hours after the incident.

Ms MacIntyre's parents have said in a statement that their daughter is in a critical condition.

They said: "Our daughter Laura is a funny and witty young girl who excels at everything she does.

"Laura and her friend Eilidh were so looking forward to the concert, but the night has now ended in a tragedy where Eilidh has now lost her life and Laura is in a critical condition.

The close friends attended the concert together
The close friends attended the concert together

"Our hearts and minds have been with Eilidh's family since we heard their news.

"We want to thank everyone for their support including the emergency services for all that they have done and continue to do.

"We know Laura is in the best possible place and receiving the best care she can.

"Laura is strong-willed and a fighter, and while she continues this battle we ask that all media respect our privacy at this extremely difficult time".

Eilidh’s father, Roddy, rushed to Manchester to search for their daughter after the attack. Her mother was already in the city after travelling with the girls from Barra.

They have now released a statement confirming the heartbreaking news.

They said: "Our family is devastated and words cannot express how we feel at losing our darling Eilidh.

"Eilidh was vivacious and full of fun. She loved all music whether it was listening to Ariana or playing the bagpipes with her pipe band.

"As a family we would like to express our thanks and gratitude for the support and kind messages we have received at this difficult time."

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's First Minister, said it was heartbreaking news and her thoughts were with Eilidh's family.

Friends of the schoolgirl paid tribute on social media. Alanna Lindsay tweeted, “Rest easy my angel you were one of a kind,” and added that she had “never felt so disgusted by this cruel world”.

Laura Beaton said on Twitter that she was “so lucky to be your friend” and another friend retweeted an earlier message from Eilidh in which the schoolgirl predicted she was going to be “crying the Amazon river” at the concert on Monday.

Donald Patrick Nicholson, 76, Eilidh’s piping teacher, said her untimely death had “shattered” his life.

He told The Daily Telegraph: “She was a brilliant wee piper. She played with the school and I taught her myself. She started at a young age and she took to it brilliantly.

“She was doing well in competitions, she certainly had it. She was coming on fantastically, I was so proud of her.

“She was popular, she was a fantastic girl, the girl was brilliant. I am just gutted, it is just terrible. It is a big, big loss. It has shattered my life. Everybody on the island knows the family, a beautiful family.”


Angus MacNeil, the Western Isles SNP candidate and a friend of both families, said the small Hebridean island, with a population of just over 1,000, was "heartbroken beyond belief".

"We were numb before and we are even number now,” he added. "It is just hard to take in.

"It’s very difficult to process and to understand and to find reasoning for it. If people here don't have children the age of Laura and Eilidh they'll certainly know their families.

“They are feeling the pain of the families. This does seem a very different place to the world of international terrorism on the news."

He revealed that Laura was sedated and had undergone a number of successful procedures in hospital and was responding well. But he added that she had “some horrible injuries” and would be in hospital for some time

Eilidh's mother Marion was due to meet the girls outside the arena. She mounted a frantic search of hotels and hospitals and was asked by police for detailed descriptions of the girls' clothing in a bid to help locate them.

As her husband, and Laura's parents, Michael and Margaret, arranged to fly to Manchester, islanders in the close-knit community feared the worst. The girls come from a largely Gaelic-speaking community where serious crime is virtually unknown and were at the concert as a special treat for Eilidh’s birthday. A relative said it was also a reward for their efforts at the island’s 170-pupil community school.

Bishop Brian McGee, Bishop of Argyll and the Isles, who visited members of both families on the island, said it was a “time of terrible anguish”.

He added: “Spending time with the relatives of both girls was a reminder of the human cost of acts of terror. Such acts leave families broken, lives scarred and innocence destroyed, my thoughts and prayers are with the families at this traumatic time.”

The local priest, Fr John Paul MacKinnon, said a dark cloud had descended over an island of “close bonds and deep faith”, adding: “The ripples of pain spreading out from the terrible events in Manchester on Monday night are amplified here in such a small community."

Two crowd funding pages to help the two families with their costs have raised more than £40,000 in less than 24 hours.


Key articles | Manchester Arena explosion


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