Emili Roman, the seven-year-old girl who tragically drowned at Fountainstown Beach in Co Cork on September 5, will be laid to rest this Saturday, September 9.
Ahead of Roman's funeral, a vigil is being organized in Crosshaven for this evening, Thursday, September 7.
"As a gesture of our support to the Roman family and friends in such a difficult time, people are invited to meet at the Christmas tree in the car park at 8 pm this evening for a silent candlelight vigil," a community member said in a social media post on Thursday.
"If anyone would like to light candles in Emili's memory, please feel free to bring one along. We will also have a book of condolences there from 8 pm to 10 pm."
Cllr Audrey Buckley said in another social media post that Roman's family and friends may attend Thursday night's vigil and asked attendees to "respect their space."
"As anyone can just imagine the heartbreak they are going through at this time," Buckley wrote.
"The Roman family are overwhelmed by everyone's kindness and want to say they really appreciate how everyone has rallied around them and to say thank you."
🕯Vigil For Emili 🕯 This evening at 8pm in Crosshaven Village. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ I was asked by a family friend to say...Posted by Councillor Audrey Buckley on Thursday, September 7, 2023
An Garda Síochána confirmed on Tuesday, September 5 that a search and rescue operation at Fountainstown Beach, near Crosshaven, Co Cork, had been stood down following the recovery of the body of a female child.
Gardaí said they received a report of a female child entering the water at Fountainstown Beach at approximately 4:40 pm on Tuesday afternoon.
A search and rescue operation was launched involving the Coast Guard, RNLI, Fire Services, Customs, Mallow River Rescue, and Garda Units from Crosshaven and Carrigaline Garda stations.
At approximately 7:45 pm, the body of the child was removed from the water by emergency services and pronounced deceased.
The body of the child was taken to Cork University Hospital where a post-mortem will take place, Gardaí said.
A notice on RIP.ie said Emili Roman, the “darling daughter” of Martha and Slawomir and “dear sister” of Inga and Jeremy, died “unexpectedly” on September 5.
She is “sadly missed by her loving family, relatives and friends.”
The RIP.ie notice says a requiem mass will be held at 11:30 am on Saturday, September 9 in the Church of Our Lady and St. John in Carrigaline, with a funeral afterward to St. John’s Cemetery, Ballinrea.
It adds: “The family would like to thank all those who assisted at Fountainstown on Tuesday.
“Everyone is welcome to the funeral but the family would appreciate if people would respect their privacy at this time."
The day after the tragedy, the community at Templebreedy National School, where Roman was a student, issued a joint statement.
"The entire school community in our small Church of Ireland school in Crosshaven, County Cork, together with the local parish and community, are in shock and are utterly devastated at the death of our 2nd class pupil Emili Roman," the statement on Wednesday said.
"Most of all we are all heartbroken for Emili’s family and loved ones.
"Emili would have been eight years old tomorrow [September 7]. Emili and her twin brother Jeremy have been in our school since they joined Junior Infants in 2020."
Principal and teacher Doris Bryan described Roman as “kind, with a bubbly personality.
"She had a beautiful smile. She was greatly loved by everyone and was very popular with all her friends. She was also very artistic and a gifted young girl.
"On behalf of the school I extend our deepest sympathies to Emili’s parents, Marta and Slawomir, her older sister Inga, and her twin brother Jeremy.
"We are doing our best at the moment to make our school a safe space for all our school community to be together and to support each other as we remember Emili and come to terms with what has happened.
"Again our primary focus, for Emili’s sake, is with her family and loved ones."
Bryan said the school has implemented its Critical Incident Plan and psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) were on hand for support.
Elsewhere, a GoFundMe has been launched to assist the Roman family with funeral preparations.
"Emily was taken from us while doing something she loved – swimming – and her loss has left an irreplaceable void in our lives," organizer Beata O'Sullivan wrote on the fundraising page.
The funds raised will "help cover the funeral expenses, including the cost of the service, burial, and a memorial to honor her memory.
"Your contributions will allow us to give Emily the dignified farewell she deserves and alleviate the financial burden on her grieving family during this incredibly difficult time."
At the time of publication, the Help Us Give Our Beloved Angel a Proper Farewell GoFundMe for the Roman family has raised more than €35,400.