The little girl who died after getting into difficulty on a Cork beach yesterday has been named.
Emili Roman would have been eight years old tomorrow.
She was paddling with friends at Fountainstown Beach near Crosshaven when a current swept her away just after 4:30pm.
A three-hour search was immediately launched; however, her body was recovered near the shore by a member of the public at around 7:45pm.
Emili and her twin brother Jeremy are second-class students at Templebreedy National School in Crosshaven.
'Kind, bubbly personality'
In a statement, Templebreedy principal Doris Bryan described Emili as “kind, with a bubbly personality.”
“She had a beautiful smile,” she said. “She was greatly loved by everyone and was very popular with all her friends.
“She was also very artistic and a gifted young girl. On behalf of the school, I extend our deepest sympathies to Emily’s parents, Marta and Slawomir, her older sister Inga and her twin brother Jeremy.
“We are doing our best at the moment to make our school a safe space for all our school community to be together and to support each other as we remember Emily and come to terms with what has happened.”
"in shock and devastated"
The school has implemented its Critical Incident Plan and psychologists are on hand to support the school community, especially students and staff.
School patron Bishop John Colton said: “Most of us cannot begin to imagine the suffering that this family must now be going through.”
“We are all, however, in shock and devastated,” he said.
“A tragedy like this is having a traumatic effect also on this small parish school at the start of this new school year, and also the wider community.
“I extend sympathy to you all. I am also very conscious of the role played by the first responders, some of whom I know personally, and everyone in the rescue services and I’m conscious of the impact a tragedy such as this has on each of them as individuals.’
The rescue operation involved the Coast Guard, RNLI, Fire Services, Customs, Mallow River Rescue and Garda Units from Crosshaven and Carrigaline Garda stations.
Earlier, Gerard O'Flynn from the Irish Coast Guard said a number of local vessels were also involved in the search.
He said everyone involved in the search “extends their sincere sympathy to the family and friends of this young girl and this very sad time as kids go back to school”.