The sister of a young Derry woman who died following a battle with alcohol has raised funds for a Derry addiction treatment centre in her memory.

Erin Wilkinson died on July 20 last year at the age of only 32.

The mother-of-one had struggled with alcohol addiction for a number of years.

Her older sister, Aisling, yesterday presented a cheque for over £2,000 to the Northlands Addiction Centre in Derry after hosting a fund-raising night in Pitcher’s and a number of bucket collections.

Speaking to the Derry News, Aisling said that the fundraising had been poignant for her given that Erin, the youngest of five sisters, had not made it into the Northlands for treatment.

“Erin had struggled with alcohol for a good couple of years, and she was due to go into the Northlands for treatment,” she told the Derry News.

“Unfortunately she never made it.”

“Erin had received treatment at centres in Newry and Omagh, but I think the Northlands would have made a big difference.”

Aisling also spoke of the heartache her family suffered due to Erin’s death, and how her sister had asked for her addiction to be kept a secret because of the ‘shame’ it caused her.

“Erin was a very quiet person, and she didn’t want people to know she had a problem.

“She was always a very quiet person and wanted to keep her problems with it to herself.

“It was tough, because you didn’t want to see her going through but she would have been angry with me if I told anyone about it.

“She would have been ashamed about it, and would say to me ‘Gone please keep this to yourself’.

“We were very close, and it was difficult to watch her going through that.”Aisling added that her sister’s death had stunned her family.

“It hit us really hard, because Erin was the youngest,” Aisling added.

“I was devastated, we were so close, and she was such a beautiful girl.”

She continued: “The Northlands do so much good work for people suffering from alcohol addiction, and I wanted to do something to help them continue providing support for people struggling like Erin did.”

“On behalf of the Wilkinson family I’d also like to thank the staff at Woodlea House for the care and support they gave Erin, and I’d also like to thank all those who donated to the bucket collection and the charity night, we’re very grateful.”

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