THE family of Abbeyfeale schoolgirl Zoe Scannell, who died in a tragic car accident in Cork last Thursday, are waiting until her mother Alisha is well enough to leave hospital before planning her funeral.
The 'bright and bubbly' eight-year-old died in a car crash that has left her mother in a critical but stable condition in Cork University Hospital. Her family say she is showing signs of improvement.
Remembering Zoe as an adorable little girl who packed so much into her eight years, her heartbroken aunt Anna O'Sullivan said that nothing will fill the void that has been left behind by her death.
Ms O'Sullivan confirmed that her sister, Alisha, is conscious and aware of the tragic circumstances of the accident, and said the family is now waiting for her condition to improve further before making any funeral arrangements.
Fighting back the tears, Ms O'Sullivan said that the family has been left heartbroken and utterly devastated by Zoe's death, but thankfully have beautiful memories that they will cherish forever.
"We have such fantastic memories of Zoe and that's some help. She was a chatty, bubbly, smiley, beautiful little girl who loved her family and we loved her so much," she said
"She was brought up brilliantly by Alisha and they would go everywhere together and had such a close bond. She also loved Alisha's partner, Eddie [Murphy], so much and he was a fantastic father figure for. We are all just devastated."
As well as her impeccable manners and kind and caring personality, Zoe was also extremely sporty and was a talented musician who lived every day to the full, her aunt recalled.
"She packed so much into her eight and a half years. She was into athletics, Irish dancing, swimming and played camogie with Tournafulla," she said.
"She tried her hand at everything. She played the fiddle, tin whistle and keyboard. She was a great outdoor person and loved team sports. She lived every minute of her life to the full."
She was also a massive Liverpool fan, just like her uncle Tony, and loved nothing more than slagging Eddie whenever his favourite team, Manchester Utd, came up against them
Ms O'Sullivan also recalled Zoe's delight when she welcomed her new cousin 11 weeks ago, saying that she was a fantastic help with the newborn.
"She was the best little cousin, helping to change nappies and give her the bottle. She couldn't wait for her cousin to arrive," she said.
Her nurturing and affectionate personality was also obvious in how she was with her beloved puppy, Penny, which she treated like a princess.
"Penny was her miniature Yorkshire Terrier and they were best buddies," she recalled.
"She had birthday parties for her and we even had to send a Mothers' Day card to Zoe from Penny every year.
"She was such an affectionate little girl who would never hurt or upset anyone."
Zoe died instantly when the car in which she, Alisha and four other people were travelling was involved in a collision with another car near Rosscarbery on Thursday. Despite media reports to the contrary, Alisha's partner, Eddie, was not in the vehicle at the time.