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'I can't believe she's gone': Family of Kilkenny teen who died after Kodaline concert speak out

Ciara Lawlor had a pre-existing illness and her family have called for a full investigation from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital.

It is nearly a year since Ciara Lawlor died after falling ill at a Kodaline concert
It is nearly a year since Ciara Lawlor died after falling ill at a Kodaline concert

APPROACHING THE FIRST anniversary of her death, the family of a Kilkenny teenager who died at a concert paid tribute to their daughter in an emotional interview today.

In an interview with Brian O’Connell, broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1′s Today with Sean O’Rourke, the family of Ciara Lawlor described her underlying health issues and the medical test that she was awaiting for ten weeks before her death.

Ciara Lawlor died on 9 July 2016, after she attended a Kodaline concert in Marley Park.

She took ill at the concert and was brought to the medical centre on site.

She was subsequently transferred to Tallaght Hospital where she was tragically pronounced dead a short time later.

Her mother, Eimear Lawlor, said that she still finds it hard to sleep and that the second year without Ciara has been “even worse”.

She said: “No one should have to bury a child… It wasn’t real. It just couldn’t happen. We just went in to see her… She was so full of life.

You get overwhelmed by sadness. I can’t believe she’s gone. I can still see her.

Eimear said that Ciara had been extremely popular with thousands of young people attending the funeral. Members of the band Kodaline also attended. The band have since written a song for Ciara, which will appear on their forthcoming album.

Almost a year on, the mother still finds it hard to say her daughter’s name aloud.

“It’s extremely hard. John [her husband] can say her name but I can’t. I can look at her pictures but he can’t,” she said.

Ciara suffered from an underlying condition called supraventricular tachycardia, which is an abnormally fast heart rhythm.

At the time of her death, she had been waiting 10 weeks for doctors to perform a test on her condition. She had first suffered from heart problems in 2012.

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The Lawlors now want to know if Ciara’s death could have been prevented, if she had gotten the test sooner and if it would have picked up on the secondary heart issue which caused her death.

Eimear described how she’d written to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin earlier this year calling for a full investigation but had so far not received a response.

In a statement issued to the Sean O’Rourke Show, Our Lady’s said:

“Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital has apologised unreservedly to the Lawlor family for the delay in responding to their letter.

This was due to the fact the letter was drafted but unfortunately had not been sent to the family.

The hospital has commissioned an external expert to undertake an investigation and have circulated draft terms of reference to the family.

In the year since her death, her family and friends have continued on her legacy. There has also been a Ciara Lawlor GoFundMe page set up, and over €25,000 has been raised through a variety of initiatives.

That money will go towards an ECG machine and towards several charities including the First Light Counselling service.

Read: “Shocked and devastated” – Kodaline pay tribute to girl who died at Dublin gig

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Sean Murray

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