A new charity has been launched in memory of a young girl who died suddenly in September of last year. The Heart Angel is inspired by 9-year-old Béibhinn O’Connor from Riverstick and Carrigaline in Cork and aims to celebrate and commemorate her life and the lives of other children who have passed away in Ireland.
The Heart Angel was launched at Cork City Hall by Cllr. Fergal Dennehy, Deputising for the Lord Mayor and Cllr. Séamus McGrath, Deputising for the County Mayor
Béibhinn suffered from a rare congenital heart defect, and she passed away on the 16th of September 2020 after a routine procedure following open-heart surgery triggered a cardiac arrest.
The Heart Angel charity plans to create beautiful inspiring memory gardens in every county in Ireland and has already begun working with local authorities. The first Heart Angel garden is planned for Carrigaline, Co Cork, a second garden will be created in Cork City next year.
A special concert to celebrate Béibhinn’s life will also be held on the 4th of September.
Béibhinn’s mother Irene O’Connor says: “The gardens are inspired by positivity, kindness, creativity, and colour and will be rolled out throughout the 26 counties of Ireland in memory of children who passed. There will be a sculpture in each garden of the ‘Heart Angel’ which will represent children who have died. We want the gardens to be colourful, uplifting and inspiring to all members of society. We also want to lift the taboo of speaking about a child’s death and to create a place where their friends and family can remember them in a positive light. Béibhinn Hope O’Connor, during her short life, inspired everyone around her to ‘Be Kind’. She lived everyday like it was her last and has left behind a powerful legacy of kindness, love and positivity.”
Cllr. Fergal Dennehy says: “We remember Béibhinn today. She inspired so many people during her life and I know that her memory will live on through the wonderful Heart Angel gardens that are planned across Ireland. Remarkably, €100,000 was raised in Béibhinn’s name for childrens’ charities since she died. I know that the Heart Angel charity will continue to inspire young people across Ireland to carry on her kindness and keep her spirit alive.”
For more information about the Heart Angel charity, please visit the website www.theheartangel.com
Pictured at the launch of the Heart Angel Charity are Irene O'Connor (Béibhinn's mum) & Béibhinn's cousins Brooke & Jacob O'Connor, at the City Hall. Pic: Siobhan Russell