The young girl who tragically lost her life after encountering difficulties while swimming at Fountainstown beach has been identified locally as Emili Roman.

Who was Emili Roman?

Emili was a second-grade student at Templebreedy National School, located in the nearby area of Crosshaven. Tomorrow would have marked her 8th birthday.

In a statement released this morning, the school expressed its profound shock and devastation at the untimely passing of Emili. The school community is overwhelmed with grief and extends its deepest condolences to Emili’s family and loved ones during this profoundly difficult time.

Emili and her twin brother had both joined Templebreedy National School in Junior Infants back in 2020. Doris Bryan, the school’s principal and Emili’s teacher, described Emili as a kind-hearted individual with an effervescent personality. She was known for her radiant smile and was cherished by all who knew her, enjoying popularity among her friends. Furthermore, Emili displayed artistic talents and was considered a gifted young girl.

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On behalf of the school, Ms. Bryan conveyed the school’s heartfelt sympathies to Emili’s parents, Marta and Slawomir, as well as to her older sister, Inga, and her twin brother. The entire community is undoubtedly mourning the loss of this vibrant young girl who was taken from them far too soon.

The school is currently making every effort to ensure that our school becomes a safe haven where the entire school community can come together to support each other and remember Emili while coping with this tragic event,” stated the school’s principal.

“Our primary focus, in honor of Emili, remains firmly with her family and loved ones.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a family friend to assist in covering the expenses related to Emili’s funeral and to ensure that it becomes a heartfelt celebration of her beautiful life.

In a touching tribute, family friend Beata O’Sullivan described Emili as a radiant presence in their lives, an empathetic friend, a loving daughter, and a treasured sister.

Emili’s laughter was infectious, and her boundless kindness left an indelible mark on all those fortunate enough to know her, according to Ms. O’Sullivan.

“We deeply appreciate your generosity and want to express our gratitude in advance for your support during this incredibly difficult time in our lives. Emili’s memory will forever reside in our hearts.”

The Church of Ireland school has taken immediate action by implementing a Critical Incident Plan to address the current situation. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) were present at the school to provide support and guidance to both staff and students as they navigate through this incredibly challenging period.

Bishop Paul Colton, the school’s patron, acknowledged the incomprehensible suffering that the family is enduring at this moment. He expressed his deep shock and devastation, extending heartfelt sympathies to Emili’s family, friends, the Templebreedy National School community, and the local community.

The tragic incident has had a traumatic impact not only on this small parish school but also on the broader community as they commence the new school year. Bishop Colton affirmed his commitment to visiting the school throughout the day to offer support and comfort.

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He also emphasized his thoughts being with the emergency services personnel who responded to the tragedy on Tuesday. He recognized the challenging role that first responders, some of whom he personally knows, and all individuals in the rescue services play. Bishop Colton acknowledged the profound impact such a tragedy has on these dedicated individuals.

The search operation commenced at approximately 4:30 pm on the day of the incident when Emili encountered difficulties in the water at Fountainstown Beach. Her body was recovered at around 7:45 pm and subsequently transported to Cork University Hospital, where an autopsy will be conducted in due course.