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Tribute to nut allergy girl Emma who died on O'Connell Street a year ago

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TRAGIC: Emma died after eating peanut-based sauce

TRAGIC: Emma died after eating peanut-based sauce

Mr Varadkar and Caroline Sloan

Mr Varadkar and Caroline Sloan

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TRAGIC: Emma died after eating peanut-based sauce

Coloured balloons floated into the winter sky outside a Dublin church at the conclusion of a memorial service for schoolgirl Emma Sloan, who died from a nut allergy on a city street one year ago.

The former classmates and friends of Emma (14) joined with her family in a service celebrating her life at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Drimnagh yesterday.

The first anniversary service organised by pupils and staff of the local Our Lady of Mercy school featured poems, songs and prayers.

Students spoke of Emma's good qualities, including her "beautiful caring nature, her bubbliness, her individuality, her wittiness, her loyalty, her trustworthy nature and her randomness".

A reflection read by a friend declared to the students: "You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back, or you can do what she'd want: smile, open your eyes, love, and go on."

Among Emma's favourite songs sung by friends, and chosen by her mother Caroline, were Romeo Must Die and Somewhere Only We Know.

Caroline Sloan is campaigning for the free availability of anti-allergy injections and for more education for parents on the potentially deadly consequences of allergies.

When Emma (inset) began to exhibit signs of a severe allergic reaction to a restaurant nut sauce, Caroline sought an anti-allergy injection for her in a pharmacy but was told she would need a prescription and was advised to take her to hospital.

Emma died minutes later on a nearby footpath.

Caroline yesterday thanked everyone who has offered their support.

aokeeffe@herald.ie


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