BODY OF TRAGIC EIMEAR FOUND AT SIDE OF ROAD; Irishwoman fell to her death on run.
Byline: CILLIAN O'BRIEN and CLAIRE SCOTT
THE devastated family of Eimear Noonan was being comforted last night after her body was discovered close to where she vanished in France.
The 21-year-old was found by youngsters on a busy riverside road used by joggers in Annonay, near Lyon.
French authorities confirmed she died after a fall while out running on Wednesday.
In a statement her family, from Caher in Killanena, Co Clare, said: "Eimear will be greatly missed."
The teaching assistant left her home in Annonay without her purse or identification and had not been seen since.
Local French news website Le Dauphine Libere reported the body of a woman in her 20s had been discovered near a viaduct in Annonay on Friday.
And last night a Facebook post from her brother Cathal confirmed the worst.
It read: "We, the family of Eimear Noonan, would like to thank all of those who have supported us in recent days.
"French authorities have now confirmed the heartbreaking news our beloved Eimear died following a fall while running on Wednesday.
"Eimear had celebrated her 21st birthday in April d st il family With her parents and had been living in Annonay since September where she worked as an English language teacher.
"She was a warm, bubbly person who had already made a wide circle of friends there through her love of music and singing.
"She graduated last month from University College Cork with an honours degree in Irish and French, was a talented violinist and to our immense pride was head of UCC orchestra for her final year there.
"Eimear will be greatly missed by all who knew her, especially her parents Flan and Mary, her brothers Declan, Michael and Cathal and all her family and friends.
"We will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love and support we have received in recent days.
"We would like to thank the Irish and French authorities and the people of Annonay for the kindness and compassion they have shown us.
We now appeal for privacy in this most difficult time as we bring Eimear home to her beloved Lough Graney and start the journey of grieving." Killanena parish priest Fr Joe McMahon said yesterday: "The community is very shaken and very upset for the family.
"We got together on Saturday night to be with them in some way and we wanted to share our prayers and sympathy with them.
"Eimear was a great musician and singer, she played the fiddle. She loved France, was very active and always had a big hug for young and old."
Eimear's mother Mary is principal of Dromindoora National School in Caher and her father Flan works as a school bus driver.
Her family are understood to be in France preparing to bring her home.
We will be forever grateful for the outpouring of love CATHAL NOONAN FACEBOOK, YESTERDAY
new home Eimear lived in Annonay, near Lyon
proud day Eimear Noonan graduates from UCC