Tuesday 16 January 2018

Mother of girl (8) killed in crash says she forgives young driver

Zoe Scannell (8) with her mother Alisha
Zoe Scannell (8) with her mother Alisha

David Raleigh

A mother who lost her only child in a horrific accident has said she forgives the driver of the car involved.

Zoe Scannell (8) was killed instantly when a car driven by a 17-year-old collided with her on a roadway last June, near Rosscarbery, Co Cork.

Zoe's mum Alisha suffered a number of serious injuries, while her partner Eddie Murphy had minor injuries.

Ian Lawlor O'Donovan of the Grove, Ardagh East in Roscarberry, lost control of his car and ploughed into the family of three from Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick.

Mr Lawlor, who is now 18, was given a two-year suspended jail sentence in April.

Yesterday Ms Scannell paid tribute to the "beautiful looking girl" she nicknamed 'Zo Zo'.

"She had big brown eyes and beautiful sallow skin. She was always smiling, always laughing. I remember (a friend) said to me shortly after she died that the one thing that always sticks in his head is her laughter. It was a real giddy, silly laughter."

She said she had forgiven Mr Lawlor O'Donovan after meeting him before his sentencing hearing at Cork Circuit Court.

"It was a tragic accident, he held up his hands and pleaded guilty, and I've forgiven him.

"We've spoken and we've moved on from it. To know that he was remorseful and that it hurt him as much as it hurt me meant a lot to us.

"For a long time, I did want to meet him, and I did want to know that he wasn't a yobbo, and that he did have remorse for what had happened.

"I remember one thing he said to me, 'I'm an only child too. I know how important one child is to their mum'."

Zoe's friends and neighbours in Abbeyfeale remembered her with a host of activities at the weekend, including a concert by her friends singing her favourite One Direction songs.

Money raised will go towards bereavement counselling service First Light, and to Brú Columbanus, a charity that provides accommodation for relatives of patients in Cork.

Irish Independent

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