A TEEN who died in an horrific accident when a car driven by a 16 year old ploughed into a wall leaving two other youngsters badly injured was hailed as “the priceless diamond and superstar” of her heartbroken family.
imberly O’Connor (16) died when the 19 year old car that she was a front seat passenger in spun out of control shortly before midnight on February 19 and collided with a concrete wall on Harbour View Road in Knocknaheeny, Cork.
Ms O’Connor died at the scene – just across the road from her family home – while two other youngsters, both aged 17, suffered multiple injuries.
One was left fighting for his life though he is now in a critical but stable condition.
The 16 year old driver left the scene – but later presented himself at a Cork hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
Ms O’Connor’s Requiem Mass at a packed St Mary’s on the Hill Church in Knocknaheeny featured emotional tributes from her mother, Jennifer, and her older sisters, Shannon and Britney.
“My heart is completely broken and I will never be the same until I am with you again, Kimberly,” her mother, Jennifer, said in a statement read out by her daughter, Shannon.
“You made (me) the proudest mother with all that you have done in your life – the beautiful singing you had used to make (my) hairs stand up. You had such a beautiful singing voice – you were a belter.
“You had such a beautiful personality and a kind heart – you were and always will be my superstar.”
Kimberly’s father, Mark, died when she was just five years old and she was raised, along with her sisters and brother, by her devoted mother.
“It is a comfort knowing that you are with your Daddy, Mark. Now you are together and you will be his beautiful angel and mind you until I get there,” she said.
“I am going to miss everything about you – the pain of losing you is unbelievable.
“Your name and your memories will be spoken of in my house everyday.”
Shannon said Kimberly was the superstar of her family with her love of singing and the arts.
“Our precious Kimberly – we always cherish what a beautiful, special diamond that you are.
“From the time you could walk and talk, you were our drama queen – singing and dancing all day everyday.
“There is nothing you wouldn’t do for anyone – you were the apple of my mother’s eye.
“There won’t be a day goes by that we won’t say (your) name and talk about your memories – sleep tight baby doll, I will love you forever.”
Britney said the only rows she ever had with Kimberly were over the sisters using each other’s clothes.
When Kimberly came back from a trip to work as a charity volunteer in India last month, she told Britney she didn’t bring her a present – but her older sister was welcome to use the clothes she had purchased from multiple high street outlets in India.
“My beautiful baby sister got her angel wings and went to heaven,” she said.
“You didn’t deserve this – you were the most kind-hearted girl. You cared about everyone. You always made the whole world smile.
“Sleep tight our superstar – we will love and miss you forever.”
Her sisters said their family will now try to adhere to Kimberly’s lifelong motto of “positive vibes.”
The teen was a Transition Year student at Terence MacSwiney Community College and had only returned in January from India where she had undertaken volunteer work with the Irish charity HOPE Foundation helping disadvantaged children.
A special guard of honour was provided by her school classmates and friends at St Mary’s.
Fr Greg Howard told mourners that the entire community was devastated by the loss of Kimberly.
The Requiem Mass was held in the same church were Kimblery was baptised, made her First Communion and celebrated her Confirmation.
The Christmas celebrations at St Mary’s featured Kimberly singing some of the hymns.
Offertory gifts reflected the teen’s life and included a school painting, an eye lash and make-up kit, a Hope charity T-shirt, a school co-operation jumper as well as a microphone and music book.
Kimberly’s coffin was flanked by a large photograph of her surrounded by special flower garlands.
The Mass also included prayers for the recovery of those injured in the collision.
Mourners were led by Kimberly’s mother, Jennifer, her sisters, Shannon and Britney, her baby brother, Cody, Jennifer’s partner, Ken, as well as extended family and friends.
Prayers were also offered for Kimberly’s late father, Mark.
A special GoFundMe campaign in aid of Kimberly’s family has raised €18,000 of its €20,000 target in a week.