herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Mum forgives motorist who killed her girl

Alisha Scannell with Zoe
Alisha Scannell with Zoe
Cork road crash victim Zoe Scannell.

A mum who lost her only child in a horrific collision has said she forgives the driver of the car that smashed into her family.

Zoe Scannell (8) was killed instantly when a car, driven by a 17-year old, slammed into her family on a roadway last June near Rosscarbery, Co Cork.

Zoe's mother Alisha suffered a number of serious injuries, while her partner Eddie Murphy who was driving the family car escaped with minor injuries.

Ian Lawlor O'Donovan, of the Grove, Ardagh East, Rosscarbery, lost control of his car and ploughed into the family of three from Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick. Lawlor O'Donovan, who is now 18, was given a two-year suspended jail sentence last month.

Speaking on Limerick's Live 95FM yesterday morning, Ms Scannell paid tribute to her "beautiful looking girl" she nicknamed Zoe Zoe.

"She had big brown eyes and beautiful sallow skin. She was always smiling, always laughing," Ms Scannell said.

She said she forgave Lawlor O'Donovan after meeting him before his sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Court.

"It was a tragic accident, he held up his hands and pleaded guilty, and I've forgiven him," she said.

"We've spoken and we've moved on from it. To know that he was remorseful and that it hurt him as much as it hurt me meant a lot to us.

"He was only 17, he's 18 now. Seeing the remorse in his eyes, he was genuinely crushed. This not only ruined and destroyed our family, it did for his, too.

"I remember one thing he said to me, 'I'm an only child too. I know how important one child is to their mum'."

hug

"We had a bit of a hug and I gave him one of Zoe's loom bands, and I think there was a little bit of a connection there between the two of us and that we know what each other is going through. Hopefully, we'll make contact again in the future."

Zoe's fiends and neighbours in Abbeyfeale remembered her with several activities at the weekend, including a concert by her friends singing her favourite One Direction songs.

Money raised from the event will go towards parents' bereavement counselling service First Light and to Bru Columbanus, a charity that provides accommodation for relatives of seriously ill patients in Cork.

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