Saturday 24 August 2019

'She always had a smile on her face' - fundraiser for girl (14) who drowned in Seapoint receives overwhelming support

Family members of 14-year-old Jill Amante including her mother Mercy, centre, with aunt Jemima Sackey and her father Alex at their home in Drogheda. Photo: Mick O’Neill
Family members of 14-year-old Jill Amante including her mother Mercy, centre, with aunt Jemima Sackey and her father Alex at their home in Drogheda. Photo: Mick O’Neill

Gabija Gataveckaite

A fundraiser set up to cover funeral costs for a teenage girl who drowned last week has almost reached its target of €10,000 in less than 48 hours.

The community in Drogheda launched a GoFundMe campaign on Saturday evening to raise funds to allow Jill Amante’s (14) two siblings to travel from Ghana to Ireland to attend her funeral.

Local woman Susan McDonnell set up the fundraiser on behalf of the community in Aston Village and Termon Abbey after one of the family’s neighbours, Ged Carter, suggested the idea.

“Jill always had a smile on her face and a chat, she was a lovely girl,” Ms McDonnell said.

“She loved gardens so she would always comment on the flowers in the front garden.”

She explained that the tragic incident hit home for many of the parents who lived in the area.

“The community was shocked and it’s very tragic. All of our kids go on the same bus to the beach,” she said.

“As parents and neighbours, we wanted to help.

“My daughter goes to the same school and goes to the same beach and is only two years older than Jill, so we felt that it could have been any of us,” Ms McDonnell said.

Ms Amante has four siblings, two of which live in Ghana. The fundraiser, which has crossed the €7,000 mark since Saturday night, aims to reach €10,000 to facilitate travel costs for two of her siblings from Ghana to Ireland.

“About 20 people in the community wanted to help and we’ve all been amazed by the power of social media,” she said.

“Initially we posted the fundraiser into a few of the local community groups, but we’ve been overwhelmed with the support,” Ms McDonnell said.

Ms Amante got into difficulty while swimming at the Seapoint beach in Termonfeckin, last Friday.

A coastguard attended the scene and she was taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, where she later died.

A donation to the fundraiser can be made  

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