Tuesday 23 July 2019

Model Alli MacDonnell will be 'forever young and beautiful', funeral hears

The Funeral of Alli MacDonnell at The Church of The Assumption, Dalkey.
Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Funeral of Alli MacDonnell at The Church of The Assumption, Dalkey. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Funeral of Alli MacDonnell at The Church of The Assumption, Dalkey. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
The Funeral of Alli MacDonnell at The Church of The Assumption, Dalkey. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Ian Begley

Ian Begley

Model and campaigner Alli MacDonnell will be "forever young and beautiful", her funeral mass heard today.

Hundreds of mourners gathered today for the funeral of the mother-of-four (37) who passed away suddenly last week.

Alli MacDonnell passed away last week Photo: RIP.ie
Alli MacDonnell passed away last week Photo: RIP.ie

Presiding over the mass at the Church of the Assumption in Dalkey, Fr Declan Gallagher told mourners that Ms MacDonnell's "biggest success" was her four children.

“I’m still trying to come to terms with Alli’s death,” Fr Gallagher told mourners.

“I think of my own vulnerabilities, how vulnerable human life really is and how we need to depend on one another.

“Sitting with some members of her family members the other day I could tell that Alli lived life to the fullest.

“Those of you who knew her were aware that she reached out to them by giving, loving and caring for them.

“But her four children knew her best. She loved them more than anyone else in the world and was there for them no matter what.”

Symbols that reflected Alli’s life were brought to the alter during the service, including a glamorous photograph of the successful model and a cookbook that represented her love of cooking.

The mother-of-four (37), who was from Rathfarnham, Dublin, will be laid to rest in Dungar Cemetery, Roscrea, Co Tipperary later today. 

Tributes poured in for Ms MacDonnell following her death.

Autism Ireland CEO Samantha Judge said Ms MacDonnell was an "amazing mother" and a tireless campaigner for autism.

In recent years she fronted campaigns for Autism Ireland after her younger son was diagnosed with the condition.

“Here at Autism Ireland, we are very shocked and saddened at the loss of Alli," Ms Judge said.

“Alli was an amazing mother, a beautiful woman, inside and out."

Close friend Lisa Burgess paid tribute to the mother of four, describing her as "wickedly funny, naughty, full of mischief and extraordinarily caring and compassionate".

"She was an extraordinary mother and lived for her kids and her wonderful family," she said.

A regular face on Ireland AM where she modelled in fashion slots, Alli was mum to Sienna (2), Harry (9) and she had two older teenager children.

Valerie Roe who runs a PR and events agency recalled working with Alli. “She was a single mum, life was hard but she lived for her kids, that was my abiding memory".

Her death is being treated as a "personal tragedy".

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article please contact Samaritans helpline 116 123 or Aware helpline 1800 80 48 48 or Pieta House on 1800 247 247.

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