Ailish Sheehan, celebrating after winning her bronze medal in the world university rowing championships in Poznan, Poland. Picture: Declan Hehir.
Ailish Sheehan, of Kildimo, Co. Limerick passed away Friday, September 9 having suffered injuries from a fall the previous Sunday just hours after winning a Bronze medal in Poland.
The Limerick native was out celebrating the bronze medal win in Poznan with the British women’s four at the World University Championships in Poland when the accident occurred.
Her parents John and Catherine, and sisters Niamh and Áine, had been at her bedside at the hospital in Poznan for the six days the Limerick rower remained on life support before she passed away, surrounded by her family.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA, where she was recruited through a rowing scholarship; Ailish Sheehan was currently studying for her Masters Degree at Goldsmith’s, University of London.
A friend of Miss Sheehan who also attended the University of Notre Dame has been raising funds through a GoFundMe page which as of September 15 is less than $500 short of the $15k goal set.
Emmie Mediate, the page organiser wrote: “Funds will be sent to the Sheehan family (John, Catherine, Niamh and Áine) to defray the costs of their extended stay in Poland and to contribute to Ailish’s celebrations of life in Ireland and elsewhere.”
During the week, the community of Bruff held a service of prayer and meditation at the local park for Ailish’s recovery. Neighbours and friends of Ailish described her as full of energy with one saying, “
After Ailish’s passing, the Mayor of Limerick City and County, Cllr Kieran O’Hanlon asked that the Irish flag be flown at half mast in respect to the young rower. Cllr O’Hanlon offered his condolences and those of the people of Limerick city and county to the Sheehan Family.
Cllr O’Hanlon added, “To lose a child is heartbreaking, but to lose them in such tragic circumstances is unimaginable. Ailish was a remarkable young woman and athlete in the prime of her life. She is going to be sadly missed, not just by her family, but by her friends and rowing colleagues in Limerick and Britain as well.”
Ailish Sheehan had won Irish championships as both a junior and senior oarswoman for St Michael’s Rowing Club and at the World Under-23 Championships in 2013 the young Limerick rower represented Ireland.
“A talented rower and student of design, her loss will be felt acutely by her teammates and colleagues. This is a cruel blow for all those who were so impressed by her rowing success,” said President Michael D. Higgins in a statement.