Tributes paid to 'mad about farming' Sophie (9) who died after fall from bale
TRIBUTES have been paid to a nine-year-old girl who died after she fell off a bale of hay at her family farm.
Family and friends recalled Sophie Pearson, from Ballacolla, Co Laois, as someone who was "always full of life and absolutely mad about farming".
Her uncle Gordon recalled Sophie's love for life and "her bubbly personality".
The Roscrea schoolgirl suffered serious injuries when she fell near the family farm last Saturday. She was rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital but lost her fight for life on Thursday.
Sophie was very involved with the Irish Belgian-Blue Cattle Society and loved competing in shows and events.
"Some little girls prefer to go shopping and dream of being a model but Sophie's first love was showing Belgian Blue cattle with her parents and brothers Scott and Ben," a spokesperson for the society told the Irish Independent.
"Sophie was in her element helping out on the farm. Each year she picked her calf to show at the summer shows. At the recent Charleville Show she exhibited her own calf Boherard Hilfiger in the young handlers class."
Local councillor Martin Phelan said the family were well known in the area and said the whole county was shocked by the tragic news.
"The parish of Aghaboe is in shock here; I'd say the whole county is. Everyone is absolutely stunned that something like this has happened and people are very troubled by it."
Mr Phelan said he would remember "a lovely girl" who just loved to be outside and working on the family land.
"She loved the work on the farm and loved to be outdoors. She'd be always going to agricultural shows and that kind of thing. She comes from a great tradition of farming. Her parents and grandparents would have all been farmers," he said.
As well as loving working on her farm, Sophie was also a keen rugby fan and played for the Roscrea under-nines team.