Mourners Hear 7-Year-Old Emili Loved Living In Beautiful Crosshaven
Young children held teddy bears at the requiem mass in Carrigaline, Co Cork today of a little girl who was swept out to sea just two days before she would have celebrated her 8th birthday alongside her twin brother.
The family of Emili Roman, of Crosshaven in Co Cork, had asked friends of their daughter to bring soft toys to her requiem mass at the Church of Our Lady and St John so that they could be placed on her grave.
The body of Emili was recovered from the water near the shore at about 7.30pm on Tuesday. She was found three hours after a search got underway off Fountainstown Beach after she disappeared from sight having gotten in to difficulty in the water.
Martha and Slawomir, parents of young Emili, her older sibling Inga and twin Jeremy walked alongside her white coffin as it was wheeled to the top of the church for her requiem mass at 11.30am today.
Emili loved the outdoor life; the picture on her coffin was of her standing by the sea, with a big smile on her face and her long, blonde hair blowing in the breeze.
Fr Aidan Cremen, CO PP of Carrigaline, told mourners that the people of Crosshaven, Fountainstown, Carrigaline and surrounding areas were heartbroken by the loss of the vibrant and loving youngster.
He said that Emili loved living in the “beautiful piece of paradise” by the sea that is Crosshaven.
“Emili enjoyed the benefits of living in Crosshaven her loving parents giving her a fabulous lifestyle. We can’t find words to express how we feel.
There must be some comfort that Emili was surrounded with love all her life. (She was) the centre of attention. All the buzz of family life and interactions with her brother and sister and devoted parents.”
Fr Cremin said that Emili was brought to the same church to be baptised nearly eight years ago where she was “anointed to be part of God’s family for all of eternity.”
“I can assure Slawomir and Martha Inga and Jeremy that Emili will be looking out for you and loving you and feeling your love for her. And that the Lord Jesus will send you grace to cope and to continue your journey through life until you are reunited again in God’s kingdom.
Even though you are sad and heartbroken today everybody here has happy memories of Emili. A happy, joyful and contented child sensitive and caring I am told and appreciative of everything.
The memories Emili has taken with her are happy, joyful beautiful memories. That is how people remember her.”
Fr Cremen said that the Roman family truly appreciated the assistance of the emergency services and the support of the community in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Meanwhile, a guard of honour was provided at the start of the mass by teenage pupils from Coláiste Muire Reált Na Mara in Crosshaven. The coffin of Emili was escorted in to the church by her family and her classmates at Templebreedy National School in Crosshaven.
Principal of the school, Doris Byran, said a reading at the requiem mass. Earlier this week she said that Emili had a “beautiful smile”, was “artistic and gifted” and was greatly loved by her classmates. As well as being her principal she taught Emili who had joined the school in 2020 when she entered Junior Infants.
Music at the mass was provided by Sarah Burke who sang touching and pure renditions of “Edelweiss” from The Sound of Music and the Abba song “I Have a Dream.” “Another Love” by Tom Odell was also played at the opening of the funeral mass.
Amongst the mourners were members of An Garda Síochana, the Ambulance and Fire service, the RNLI and the Coastguard. Local TD’s including Minister for Finance Michael McGrath and Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney, were also in the body of the church alongside Canon Elaine Murray of the Carrigaline Union of the Church of Ireland.
Catholic Bishop of Cork and Ross, Fintan Gavin, of and Church of Ireland Bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross Paul Colton both asked that condolences and prayers be offered on their behalf at the mass.
Emili was laid to rest at St John’s Cemetery in nearby Ballinrea, Co Cork.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people attended a candlelit vigil in Crosshaven on Thursday night as a show of solidarity to the Roman family. Poignantly it would have been the 8th birthday of Emili. Her twin brother Jeremy handed out tea lights to locals who attended the vigil.
The crowd gave the emergency services who searched for Emili a round of applause whilst members of the emergency services also attended the vigil.
The people of Fountainstown also paid tribute to Emili following her passing. The name “Emili” was spelled out with stones on the beach wall earlier this week with locals placing flowers around it.
A Go Fund Me page, set up by a family friend, raised thousands of euro to assist the relatives of Emili with funeral costs.
Beata O’Sullivan who set up the page said that Emili touched the lives of everyone she met with her “warm smile and boundless enthusiasm”
“She was a ray of sunshine in our lives. Her laughter was infectious and her kindness knew no bounds.”