Thursday 21 November 2019

Missing Amy's old primary school marks her 21st with a special garden

Grainne Cunningham

HER friends are already having babies, but the 21st birthday of missing Amy Fitzpatrick was marked by the opening of a special garden at her old primary school.

The ceremony at St Catherine's National School in Artane was a poignant reminder that, while her peers are getting on with their lives, she cannot.

Instead, her former principal at the school, Moira Bennett, remembered the little girl "with the biggest smile" and a radiant personality who got on with everyone.

She said that Amy, who went missing from her Spanish home in the Costa del Sol on New Year's Day, 2008, was "kind, lovely and gentle" and was often on her mind. Pupils dressed in the same uniform Amy wore sang the school's anthem 'There is a better way', and school chaplain Fr John Harrington said he hoped the new space, called 'Amy's Garden', would be a constant reminder of her.

Lord Mayor Naoise O Muiri cut the ribbon to open the little garden, which features two bay trees, spring flowers in planters and a seating area.

Amy's mother Audrey praised the school's gesture in opening the garden because she said, after five years, she finally has somewhere she can go to remember Amy, who was 15 when she went missing.

Mrs Fitzpatrick, who said she now believes her daughter is dead, said her sister lost a child three years ago but, when someone goes missing, "you are just in limbo all the time".

She said the garden was particularly welcome because it is located in Audrey's own school. Mrs Fitzpatrick also revealed that Amy's best friend from her time at St Catherine's has just has a baby boy and chose the closest name to her daughter she could, naming him Jamie.

But she said she still thinks of her daughter as a teenager and said that all she wants now is to bring her home.

Irish Independent

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