Manchester Arena Inquiry: ‘Gifted’ Eilidh MacLeod was a ‘bundle-of-fun’

media captionManchester Arena Inquiry: ‘The world was Eilidh MacLeod’s oyster’

Eilidh MacLeod was “a blonde-haired, green-eyed, bundle-of-fun”, the 14-year-old’s family and islanders from Barra in the Outer Hebrides recalled in their “pen portrait” to the teenager.

Over the next two weeks, the relatives of the 22 people killed in the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing will

provide a personal insight into the lives of their loved ones. and how their lives were changed forever.

Presentational grey line

Tributes to one of the attack’s youngest victims came in a video with moving contributions from family and members of her island community, illustrated with stunning shots of Barra’s landscape, haunting music and family photos.

Her mother Marian said: “It wasn’t hard to love Eilidh – even her date of birth was quirky 1/2/3 and she absolutely loved that.”

Mrs MacLeod recalled how Eilidh loved hanging about with her sister Shona, who was two and a half years older but described her younger sibling as her “best friend”.

“It didn’t matter whether they were on the beach or in each other’s bedrooms making lots of noise, listening to music, giggling and just having fun, working out the next caption for Instagram or Facebook,” she said.

The teenager loved make-up, her phone, social media, music, Harry Potter and playing in pipe bands.

Younger sister Laura said: “Eilidh absolutely loved English – it was as if she had a dictionary stored in her head.

“She once called me a filament which made me angry until I found out it was the inside of a light bulb and meant I was the light of her life.”

Islander Patrick Nicholson, who taught her to play the bagpipes and had known since she was a “wee girl”, said she was “brilliant, keen and able”.

“She was a great wee player and I was very, very fond of her,” he added.

‘Brought joy’

Her dad Roderick said how much Eilidh’s “confidence just grew” playing in a pipe band.

He recalled her joy when the band was honoured in an international pipe band contest nine months before her death.

“It was just stunning – she was so proud that day,” he said.

“She was growing into a lovely young woman with this fantastic gift she was able to express herself with.”

Her aunt and godmother Margaret McNeill said Eilidh “brought joy to our lives from the day she was born – she was a blond-haired, green-eyed bundle of fun with perfect quips, one liners and an infectious laugh”.

The teenager’s former primary school teacher Michelle McLean reflected on a happy girl who brought a “special warmth and glow about her” to the classroom.

She added: “You are told as a teacher not to have a favourite but some children stick with you. Eilidh has a special place in my heart.

“The whole island community misses her – as her teacher she taught me to be a better person.”

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Related Topics

  • Isle of Barra

  • Manchester

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