Jack Quann
Jack Quann

10.52 21 Jun 2021


Share this article


A man who lost his daughter in a drowning incident in Greece has said the shock of losing a child is "impossible to describe".

Laura Dempsey (15) died while on holidays in Crete back in 2017.

Her father is now kayaking around Ireland to raise funds for Anam Cara - a parental and sibling bereavement support group.

Advertisement

John told Newstalk Breakfast that they both had a love of the water.

"She was a keen sailor, she loved swimming the sea - it was something that we both shared was a love of the sea, being in the water or on the water.

"She was a lovely kid, two older siblings, and she's greatly missed by her mom and I and her extended family.

Picture by: Supplied

"We arrived in Crete on holidays and it was our first morning there - we were there with another family who are close friends.

"Their daughter was one of Laura's best friends.

"And we were all down by the pool having breakfast and Laura and her friend were in the pool swimming - and something happened to Laura.

"We're not quite sure, I suspect something medical happened, but she drowned.

"The water in the pool was cloudy and we didn't see her body in the pool, it took a long time for that to happen.

"But it was a terrible shock, devastating shock to all of us when it happened".

John said losing Laura made it hard for him to put one foot in front of the other.

"It's impossible to describe - the joy of your first child, the change that brings to your life, it's the exact opposite of that.

"It's like getting hit by a train.

"For the first two years after that, I was in shock and then just the pain and a sense of hopelessness.

Picture by: Supplied

"[I] could never see how life could be any better than it was, and it a was real struggle just to get out of bed and put one foot in front of the other, and trying to go to work and keep going."

On his fundraising efforts, he said: "I'm undertaking this kayaking trip - to me, it's a great accomplishment just to have got here.

"We still go home everyday and Laura's bed is still empty, but we got great support from Anam Cara over the years.

"We wouldn't be where we are now without the help that we had got from them.

"I'm publicising what I'm doing because I'm just trying to raise awareness of Anam Cara: not everybody would know that the charity's there, and to try and raise a bit of money for them as well - because they're a voluntary organisation".

More information can be found, and donations made, here

Anyone affected by issues raised in this article can contact Anam Cara on (01)-404-5378 or email info@anamcara.ie

Main image: Laura Dempsey. Picture by: Supplied

Share this article


Read more about

Anam Cara Charity Crete Fundraising John Dempsey Laura Dempsey Newstalk Breakfast

Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Pat Kenny Show

The Pat Kenny Show

09:00-12:00

Share

Up next

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on