Republic of Ireland news

Drowning victim's organs donated to help other children

Fr John Joe Duffy said Grace was now in the arms of her father who was killed in a construction accident in 2015.
Seamus McKinney

A YOUNG Donegal girl who died in a drowning tragedy in Majorca is now lying in the arms of her father who was killed in an accident just weeks before she was born, mourners at her funeral have been told.

Grace Mary Sweeney (7), who previously lived in Co Antrim, died in a Spanish hospital two days after she was found unresponsive in an hotel swimming pool while on a family holiday.

Her death was the second tragedy to strike her family. In 2015, her father, John Sweeney (45) was killed when a dumper trunk he was driving overturned on a building site in Cornwall. A native of Donegal, Mr Sweeney’s death came just weeks before the birth of his daughter.

Many mourners at St Michael’s Church, Creeslough dressed in light-coloured clothes yesterday at the request of her mother, Geraldine and family.

Mourners were told two other children have been given the gift of a better life after Grace’s family agreed to donate her organs. Fr John Joe Duffy said the youngster was looking forward to her First Communion and was buried wearing her older sister, Cara’s First Holy Communion dress.

Fr Duffy said Grace was already among the “saints and angles” in heaven where she would support her mum, her older sister, Cara (8), her little brother, Patrick, her mum’s partner, Damien and her extended family.

"Grief is the price you pay for great love and Grace was greatly loved, greatly cherished and so very precious. The only consolation that you [Geraldine], Cara, Patrick, Damien, grandparents and family can take this morning is that little Grace is in the arms of her dad," he said.

Fr Duffy said Grace was a “girly girl” who loved dancing and storytelling. He said she always put others before herself.

"That is why her family are wearing light colours this morning, wearing pink for pink was very much her favourite colour."

Following Requiem Mass, Grace was laid to rest at Doe cemetery.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

Republic of Ireland news