Tuesday 25 October 2016

'She was the girl we all wanted to be' - girl scout swept into sea at Hook Head is laid to rest

Published 16/12/2015 | 08:11

Fellow scouts and schools friends formed a guard of honour for Aoife Winterlich
Fellow scouts and schools friends formed a guard of honour for Aoife Winterlich
The rescue at Hook Head last Sunday

The young Dublin teenager who died after being washed into the sea off Hook Head in Wexford while on a scouting trip has been remembered as the 14-year-old all her relations and friends aspired to be.

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Aoife Winterlich (14) was rescued unconscious from the water last Sunday week along with a young pal who was also washed off the rocks by a giant wave.

Her friend managed to keep her head above water until the coastguard rescue team arrived, but the Walkinstown girl lost her fight for life last week at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children in Crumlin.

Her remains were yesterday brought to the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Walkinstown amid scenes of heartbreaking grief.

Pupils from St Paul’s Secondary School, where Aoife was a third year student, as well as members of Scouting Ireland, formed two guards of honour at the door of the church as her white coffin was carried in to the song Hello by Adele.

Gifts brought to the altar to represent her short life included her make-up and nail varnish, her hair dye, which mourners were told was always as bright as her personality, her earphones, samples of her artwork, her Judo suit, her scouting neckerchief, and a photograph of her cat Lola.

“Aoife was quick to embrace new ideas, concepts and experiences, constantly evolving and always trying to figure out what she wanted to be,” said her brother Martin.

“Compassion was one of Aoife’s many virtues – always seeing the value in everything and everyone. Wise and mature when she needed to be, less so when it suited her, Aoife wasn’t your average person, she was the 14-year-old we all wanted to be but didn’t have the guts,” he added.

Another of Aoife’s brother’s, Craig, described her as a beautiful young lady.

“It was always nice to have a girl around with us three lads to keep us in check. She was always willing to give us her honest opinion, even if it meant changing our clothes three times before we left the house. We all love you Aoife,” he said with emotion.

Aoife is also survived by her brother Jack, and her parents Martin Snr and Anne.

After the funeral mass her remains were brought to Bohernabreena Cemetery for burial.

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