TRIBUTES have been paid to a brave little Irish girl who died just days after meeting her hero, Ed Sheeran.
Aoibhe O’Connor, who had a genetic condition called mucolipidosis, passed away suddenly on Wednesday.
She was believed to be the only person in Ireland to have the ultra-rare condition.
It’s understood that she suffered a cardiac arrest after a minor fall.
The schoolgirl, from Mogeely in east Cork, posed for pictures with Sheeran on the opening night of his Irish tour last Friday.
She was invited to meet the singer at Pairc Ui Chaoimh alongside her parents and sister Lauren, 8, thanks to to 96FM host Keith ‘KC’ Cunningham – who contacted Sheeran’s management with the special request.
Aoibhe’s dad John told the Irish Examiner on Monday that Sheeran spent several minutes with the girls, chatting to them about their favourite music and posing for photos.
He described his daughter as a bright and bubbly child who loved Sheeran’s music – playing his albums on repeat constantly – and who enjoyed being part of the Rebel Wheeler wheelchair sports group.
Aoibhe, who was a QueenBee ambassador for the childrens’ national ambulance service Bumbleance, was remembered last night as an “amazing young lady” by the charity’s co-founder, Tony Heffernan.
“I am personally shocked and very sad. I know what it’s like to lose a child. There are just no words,” he said.
“She was a powerful little package, full of laughter and joy. I have reached out to her parents and family to tell them that we are here to provide whatever support we can as they prepare for that lonely walk with their child”.
Aoibhe is survived by her parents John and Emma, and sisters Lauren, 8, and Megan, 3
Her funeral mass will take place on Sunday morning at St John the Baptist Church in Killeagh, Co. Cork.
The family have asked for family flowers only and donations in lieu to a charity of the donor’s choice.
Courtesy of Aidan Lonergan Irish Post.