Tragic car crash girl Zoe (8) a 'blessing', aunt tells mourners
THE heartbroken aunt of a little girl who died in a horror road collision told thousands of mourners "we were blessed to have had Zoe in our lives".
Zoe Scannell (8) died last month in the crash near Clonakilty, Co Cork.
Her mother, Alisha, was seriously injured in the two-car collision and spent nearly two weeks in hospital.
She was discharged on Monday, allowing her to attend yesterday's funeral.
The Church of the Assumption in Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, was thronged as emotional tributes were paid to Zoe.
Fr Joe Foley said she had lived a "brief, but beautiful" life and described her as "a special, lively, engaging child" who had "brought life and light" to her family.
Zoe's aunt, Anna O'Sullivan, thanked the emergency service personnel who had attended the crash scene on June 26.
She paid a deeply emotional personal tribute to "Zo Zo", who had made her First Communion in May.
Recalling that occasion, Ms O'Sullivan said: "We often joked that we pitied the girls on either side of her in the school choir because she was tone-deaf but sang as loud as the best of them regardless."
She broke down as she recounted how Zoe loved family birthday parties.
"These surprise parties were held for each of us every year, and Zoe, in her innocence, always believed she had surprised us.
"All in all, we were blessed to have had Zoe in our lives for eight-and-a-half years.
"The level of grief and intense pain we are experiencing is all because of the pure love we had for Zoe.
"We have thousands and thousands of wonderful, funny and amazing memories off Zo Zo."
Symbols of Zoe's life including a fiddle, a Liverpool soccer jersey and scarf, Irish dancing shoes, a camogie stick, leads for her dogs Penny and Bounty and soccer boots were brought to the altar and laid beside her white coffin.
Her fellow pupils from Scoil Mathair Dia, Abbeyfeale, performed a lively slip jig in the church while the school choir sang hymns.
Zoe was laid to rest beside her grandfather, Luke Scannell.