Cork girl Emmy, five, dies in holiday tragedy

Cork girl Emmy, five, dies in holiday tragedy
Emmy Sophia Eckert. Photo: Denis Minihane/Irish Examiner.

By Conall Ó Fátharta and Olivia Kelleher

Tributes have been paid to a five-year-old girl from Ballincollig in Cork who died while visiting relatives in Germany.

Emmy Sophia Eckert lived in Ballincollig in Cork with her parents, Darlene and Andreas, and three siblings. It is understood she passed away in Germany on August 8.

She was visiting a lake with her family when she went missing. A search was immediately carried out and she was found in the water.

Parents of children in Scoil Mhuire school in Ballincollig were informed by text of her death today. Emmy had been due to start in senior infants in the school. Both her parents work in VMWare in Cork.

A GoFundMe page set up by Darren Lauser has raised almost €5,000 for the family.

Mr Lauser wrote: “When your 5-year-old dies suddenly from an accident, it is hard enough without the stress of financial pressure. Please join me, and others of like precious faith, in bearing this burden.”

Fianna Fáil councillor Colm Kelleher said the death is a “dreadful shock” and expressed his sympathies to the Eckert family.

“My heart goes out to them,” he said. “I am a father myself of a little girl and I can only imagine what they are going through. It’s just a dreadful shock. My thoughts and prayers go out to them.

She was just about to come back from her holidays and go back to school. It’s just very tragic.

Funeral arrangements have been finalised for Emmy. Her removal will take place at Crowley’s Funeral Home in Ballincollig on Sunday from 4pm to 5.30pm. Her funeral service be at 11am on Monday at the Bible Baptist Activity Centre in Innishmore Business Park in Ballincollig. She will be laid to rest at St Oliver’s Cemetery.

Emmy’s death comes days after the death of another Cork child in Spain.

Avery Greene, Mallow, was on holiday near Alicante with his family when he was found unresponsive in the pool on Monday. Media reported that the boy was spotted by a passer-by, who first thought Avery was a doll floating in the water.

Emergency services rushed to the scene and attempted to resuscitate him for more than an hour, before an air ambulance rushed the boy to Alicante General Hospital, where he died on Wednesday.

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