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'In death, my beautiful eldest daughter saved five lives'

When Kirsty Donnellan's daughter Scarlett died at just 17, her organs were donated and saved other precious lives, writes Liadán Hynes

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Kirsty Donnellan with her younger children Liam and Freya at home in Tulla, Co Clare. Photo: Eamon Ward

Kirsty Donnellan with her younger children Liam and Freya at home in Tulla, Co Clare. Photo: Eamon Ward

Kirsty and Scarlett had a special mother/daughter bond

Kirsty and Scarlett had a special mother/daughter bond

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Kirsty Donnellan with her younger children Liam and Freya at home in Tulla, Co Clare. Photo: Eamon Ward

Until she died aged just 17, Scarlett Belle Marie Donnellan Feeley and her mother Kirsty Donnellan had enjoyed a particularly close relationship.

"I had her when I was young enough; I was 23," her mother says now. "So we kind of grew together. We were more like best friends than a mother and daughter relationship."

Scarlett died tragically as a result of head injuries sustained on a night out in September 2018. At the time, having recently sat for her Leaving Cert, she had been at the beginning of a year out, working to earn some money, planning her next move.