We're so thrilled with the life she led, says father of tragic Irish rower Ailish Sheehan

We're so thrilled with the life she led, says father of tragic Irish rower Ailish Sheehan

Update 7.30pm: Ailish Sheehan's remains are due arrive off a plane from Poland at Dublin Airport, 8pm, Thursday evening, according to a spokesperson for Michael Downey's Funeral Home, Pallaskenry, writes David Raleigh.

Ms Sheehan, who is survived by her parents John, Catherine, and sisters Aine and Niamh, will lay in repose at her family home from Friday, 12pm, the spokesperson said.

Her funeral mass will take place in St Joseph's Church, Kildimo, on Saturday at 12pm.

She will be cremated following a private ceremony at Ringaskiddy Crematorium, Cork, next Monday.

The Sheehan family have requested that any donations be made to Ailish's former rowing club, St Michael's, Limerick, or the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust.

Earlier: Family and friends of Irish rower Ailish Sheehan have been celebrating her life and achievements ahead of her funeral Mass this evening, writes David Raleigh.

The 23-year old passed away last Friday, five days after sustaining head injuries in a fall.

Earlier that day, Ailish, from Kildimo, Co Limerick, was part of the Great Britain team which won Bronze at the final of the Women's Senior Coxed Fours, at the FISU World University Rowing Championships in Poznan, Poland.

We're so thrilled with the life she led, says father of tragic Irish rower Ailish Sheehan

Paying tribute to his daughter's sporting achievements, John Sheehan, who also helped coach his daughters, said proudly: "We are so thrilled with the life she led."

Speaking today, Mr Sheehan smiled, adding: "Ailish was wise, wild, determined, and about as fun as anyone could be."

Ailish's heartbroken family swapped stories with her former teachers, neighbours, and friends, about her zest for life and heroic strides to sporting success.

Mr Sheehan, a former trainer with the Limerick senior hurling team - who played for Cork minors and St Mary's London hurling club - told how over 80,000 spectators attending a Notre Dame v Nevada college football game at South Bend, Indiana, last Saturday, observed a minute silence in memory of his daughter.

The Limerick athlete's name is etched on the University of Notre Dame Hall of Fame after she had been selected on the All American Athletic Second Team, 2015.

A former member of St Michael's Rowing Club, Limerick, and Dooneen Athletic Club, Ailish represented University of London at the World Championships in Poland ahead of her tragic death.

Prior to focusing on rowing, the dual-citizen athlete had established herself as one of Ireland's leading shot put and javelin athletes - representing Ireland at International Schools level, and later at the Celtic Games in Scotland.

A fund for Ailish's family on the GoFundMe website, to be used towards a celebration of her life, has received over $13,000 in donations from people around the world.

We're so thrilled with the life she led, says father of tragic Irish rower Ailish Sheehan

Colin Bell, of the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust, confirmed the charity is assisting the Sheehan family in arranging to have Ailish's body flown back to Ireland for her funeral - details of which have not yet been confirmed.

Ms Sheehan's remains are expected to lie in repose at the family home in Kildimo in the coming days, prior to her funeral Mass and subsequent private cremation at Rocky Island, Ringaskiddy, Cork.


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