Ella Trainor's family: 'GAA supported us in devastating loss'
THE parents of a six year-old girl killed in a car crash have told how the GAA has helped them through their heartache since the tragedy in January.
Ella Trainor from Hilltown died in a three vehicle collision near Newry. The death of the St Patrick's Primary School Hilltown pupil, who had just returned to school after the Christmas holidays, left her family devastated.
However since the tragedy, her parents Martin and Susan have told how they have been supported in their grief by the GAA community.
Mr Trainor said the GAA had not only supported them through their devastating loss, but had gone the extra mile to keep their daughter's memory alive.
Last month a football-blitz for 150 children was held on what would have been Ella's 7th birthday.
Clonduff GAC, where Ella had been a member along with her 12 year-old sister Aoife, hosted the event with referees from Cumann Pheadair Naofa (CPN) Warrenpoint GAA, where Mr Trainor is a mentor for the minor team.
"Since that sorrowful day we have been receiving support from a number of areas in our community, but one of the main areas has been our GAA community," he said.
"I am a member of CPN Warrenpoint and also a mentor for their minor team. My other daughter Aoife is a member and player of Clonduff GAC.
"Between both of these clubs and other clubs in our county we have been given support and help right from the start.
"Only two weeks ago this club (Clonduff) organised a blitz for 150 under-six kids - a massive task that was executed with the most professional manner I have ever seen, all for one of their youngest members on what should have been Ella's birthday. The blitz was held in her honour.
"It should have been a very sad day, but instead it was a celebration of her life. To know that kids were there enjoying themselves and remembering her was very special," he said.
"There were no winners that day and every single child that took part left with a medal with Ella's face on it, which was amazing."
Mr Trainor said the family wanted to highlight the contribution the GAA community had made to their lives since the tragedy.
"Ella died in January and it has been the worst time of our lives, every family's nightmare," he said.
"But the GAA community have been unbelievable. Their support alone has helped us through these difficult times over the last few months.
"The constant support and massive help had been fantastic, especially with our daughter Aoife, they have pushed her on and we really appreciate that.
"My wife and I want to express our gratitude to the organisation and also to tell people out there that there is a completely unique reason for the GAA, a unique gift for the Irish people."
The family are now embarking on their next challenge - the Causeway Coast Marathon on September 24.
They are raising funds for Cruse Bereavement Care in Newry, which the family say has helped them through the "painful and at times almost unbearable" few months since the tragedy.
"We hope that this will keep Ella's memory going," he said.