The short but remarkable life of a young Irish Nun killed in the Earthquake

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Sister Clare.

SISTER Clare Crockett, 33, from Northern Ireland was killed in a school in the Ecuador earthquake on Saturday. 

The young nun was working at a school in the coastal town of Playa Prieta when the stairwell collapsed. 

The bodies of three trainee nuns, who Sister Clare was teaching to play the guitar, were also found in the debris along with two other girls, her religious congregation confirmed on Monday.

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The young woman grew up in Londonderry, Northern Ireland and started life as a wild party animal, pursuing her budding acting career when she decided to make a drastic change to become a nun. 

Emmet Doyle, Sister Clare’s cousin said: “She was the last sister found. 

“She was trying to get them down the stairs and the staircase collapsed.

“She died as she lived, helping others.”

Now in death, the story of Sister Clare’s life and transition from her earlier wilder days to Catholic nun has emerged. 

Back in 2001 Sister Clare gave accounts to her religious leaders of her previous life. 

“I liked to party a lot. My weekends, since I was 16/17, consisted of getting drunk with my friends. I wasted all my money on alcohol and cigarettes,” she said.

From a young age Clare had wanted to become an actress, especially after securing a small role in Paul Greengrass’ Bloody Sunday film as well as presenting local TV.  

When in London she admitted that she had a revelation and started to rethink her lifestyle. 

She said: “I saw that even though it seemed that I had everything, in reality I had nothing.” 

After a surprise and unwanted pilgrimage to Spain, she started to take her first steps towards becoming a nun.

“I tried to get out of it, but my name was already on the ticket, so I had to go.

“I now see that it was Our Lady’s way of bringing me back home, back to Her and Her Son,” she said.

Sister Clare’s cousin Mr Doyle has described her as a “superstar.”

Tributes have been pouring in for the sister who tragically lost her life on Saturday. 

“Everybody loved her,” Mr Doyle said. 

Arlene Foster, Northern Ireland’s First Minister also expressed her sympathies.

“It’s very, very sad,” she said.

“My deepest sympathy goes to the family in Londonderry.

“I understand this lady joined an order and went out to serve and it is very sad to hear she has lost her life in Ecuador.”

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