Irish student dies after US kayaking incident

Potomac River

An Irish student has died after a kayaking incident in the United States.

Ella Mills, from Dublin, died following the incident on the Potomac River near Washington DC on Sunday.

She was on a trip with the Columbia University Whitewater Kayaking Club.

Ms Mills was studying at Columbia University as part of a programme with Trinity College Dublin.

Columbia University confirmed the death in an email to students, as reported in its student newspaper.

In tribute to Ms Mills, university dean Lisa Rosen-Metsch said she had "a love for learning, was intellectually curious and passionate about literature".

Ms Rosen-Metsch added that the English student was "eager to soak in new ways of looking at literature and viewing the world as a literary scholar".

She added that Ms Mills was involved in many aspects of student life including "the Trinity College Dublin drama society, the DU Players, the Trinity College Dublin Tennis Club, and the Philosophical Society, among many others".

Columbia University said it is offering counselling and support services for students following her death and a vigil will be held on Tuesday evening.

Trinity said the university community was grieving over the "tragic loss".

"Her family, friends and classmates are in our minds at this difficult time," it added in a statement.

The head of Sutton Park School in Dublin, where Ella had been a pupil, paid tribute to “a much cherished past student”.

“This is a truly tragic time. Words fail us all,” Ronan Walsh said.

“Ella’s mum Jo-Ann Feely will be known to many of you as chair of our board Of management”.

He added that "hearts are broken" for Ella's family.