Teen crash victim survived meningitis as baby, funeral hears

Teen crash victim survived meningitis as baby, funeral hears
Church of St Mary and St John, Ballincollig. Photo: Google Maps.

A teenager who passed away on New Year's Day having been hit by a car the previous night had fought meningitis as a baby, surviving the battle to become a much-loved daughter, sister, granddaughter and friend, her requiem mass has heard.

Large crowds gathered to pay their respects at the mass in Ballincollig, Co Cork for Roisin Mae O'Donovan who only recently celebrated her milestone 16th birthday.

Fr Cian O'Sullivan said Roisin was on a journey "from a child to adult" when her life was cut short.

Death, he stated, isn't normally part of the lives of young people.

"[For teenagers] it is all about life. It is all about the future. It is all about energy. It is all about excitement. When someone so young dies it brings a cloud and a shadow and a veil over all those that are part of that community."

He indicated that Roisin had meningitis as a baby.

"In fact the previous time when she was a small baby fighting meningitis at the very start of her life as a family ye had to deal with the likelihood of losing Roisin.

For any parent even contemplating danger to your child is an awful experience. Worse still to think you might lose them and lose them to death. It is so hard for any of us to understand or contemplate.

Fr O'Sullivan added that going back to school after the Christmas holidays is always a hard experience for students.

However, it will be particularly difficult for transition year students in Ballincollig Community School who will grieve the loss of their popular classmate.

Some will cope with their grieving by crying whilst others will laugh and remember the good times. However, all forms of grieving should be respected, he stressed.

Ballincollig Community School Choir, of which Roisin was a member, provided a portion of the musical accompaniment at the mass in the Church of St Mary and St John.

They sang moving versions of "Make you feel my Love" and "Hallelujah."

Poignantly, mourners heard a recording of a song called "Believe" in which Roisin recently sang alongside her school friends in the choir.

Offertory gifts included a makeup palette and a birthday card.

Roisin is survived by her mother Margaret Carroll, her father James O'Donovan, her sister Chloe, grandparents Jimmy and Bridie Carroll and Noel O'Donovan.

She was laid to rest at St Oliver's Cemetery following the mass on Saturday.

Roisin was knocked down on Main Street in Ballincollig shortly before 8pm on New Year's Eve at a crossing near the Tesco supermarket.

She died at Cork University Hospital the following day. The driver of the car was uninjured in the incident but was treated for shock at the scene.

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