Abbeyfeale in stunning response to Zoe’s death

Norma Prendiville

Reporter:

Norma Prendiville

Alisha Scannell presenting a cheque to Anne Maria OConnor of Bru Columbanus on behalf of the Remembering Zoe committee. A second cheque was presented to First Light, the charity for bereaved parents Picture: Paul Ward
IN an extraordinary act of remembrance, a total of €28,500 has been raised for good causes in memory of the little eight-year-old Zoe Scannell from Abbeyfeale who was killed in a car accident a year ago. The bulk of the money was raised through the Remembering Zoe Weekend, held in Abbeyfeale in May, when hundreds turned out for a fun-day, a concert and a number of cycling challenges.

IN an extraordinary act of remembrance, a total of €28,500 has been raised for good causes in memory of the little eight-year-old Zoe Scannell from Abbeyfeale who was killed in a car accident a year ago. The bulk of the money was raised through the Remembering Zoe Weekend, held in Abbeyfeale in May, when hundreds turned out for a fun-day, a concert and a number of cycling challenges.

Now, with all the money in and counted, cheques were presented on Saturday night to First Light, the organisation which provides counselling and support for bereaved parents, and to Brú Columbanus, the home from home for families of patients at Cork University Hospital. Zoe, her mother Alisha and Alisha’s partner, Eddie Murphy were on holiday in West Cork last June 26 when the accident in which Zoe was killed took place.

“We were absolutely overwhelmed by the amount raised,” Alisha Scannell said.

“It was a real community effort. Without the community we would never have raised it and to think so many people came together to remember such a small little girl was amazing.”

Alisha revealed she had had the optimistic target of €15,000 in mind when the work of organising the weekend began. “But we just blew that amount out of the water. We were absolutely blown away by it all.”

Alisha’s lovely, warm memories of that weekend are a bulwark against the flash-backs that continue to come, that persist in reminding her of the trauma and loss of that June day. “The shock has worn off and reality is kicking in. It is like a right thump in the chest,” she explained to the Limerick Leader. “I am getting counselling and a lot of help. I know I have to get on but I am finding it hard.”

She is however deeply satisfied that the Remembering Zoe Weekend has made a difference. The money given to First Light will help that organisation to establish a centre in Munster which will offer support and help to other grieving parents, she explained. And the money donated to Brú Columbanus will help buy new beds for the house which provides accommodation and a home from home for relatives of seriously ill patients in CUH.”

It is great to see where the money is going,” Alisha said.