Wexford News

Tributes pour in for brave Wexford hero Fiadh O'Connor who died 'in mammy's arms'

Tributes pour in for brave Wexford hero Fiadh O'Connor who died 'in mammy's arms'
Fiadh O'Connor. RIP.ie

Messages of support have begun to pour in for Wexford hero Fiadh O'Connor who lost her battle with cancer today on Wednesday, April 5th.

The 4-year-old had been diagnosed with a rare stage 4 paediatric cancer called Neuroblastoma which recently relapsed for the third time in three years.

Fiadh's family, who hail from The Ballagh near Enniscorthy, posted a touching tribute to their brave daughter on RIP.ie this afternoon.

The post reads: "[Fiadh] died in her Mammy’s arms, holding her Daddy’s hand surrounded by love, with Páidí and all of her favourite people close by."


We will miss her forever but take comfort that she died at home, where she belongs and was looked after with love by her aunties. Fiadh was an amazing, clever, kind, fun and most treasured and loved child. She captured everyone’s hearts. Fiadh was so brave throughout her illness and she approached every day with resilience and strength, more than we will ever know in our lifetime.

Fiadh's story gained national attention following a public campaign by her family to obtain end-of-life services at their home.

The South East has not had a pediatric palliative care service since 2017, and Fiadh's parents feared she would not be able to spend her last moments surrounded by family and friends. Thankfully, those services were obtained in the final weeks of Fiadh's life.

Fiadh's family thanked all those who showed their support throughout their daughter's journey, writing on RIP.ie, they said: "Thank you to everyone for their love, support, generosity and kindness during Fiadh’s journey. The oncology team in Crumlin Hospital, particularly Dr Jane Pears & Nessa Mullin CNS, the staff of St. Gabriel’s Ward in Wexford and the team at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in America who helped us give her every chance to beat this horrendous disease."


It continued: "We would like to wholeheartedly thank Dr. Balding and her palliative care team at Harold’s Cross Hospice, Dublin for taking clinical responsibility and allowing Fiadh to die at home. Thanks also to Dermot and staff in Kavanagh’s pharmacy, Fiadh’s GP and all at Court St. Medical Centre, Enniscorthy. Liane and Laura for their support during Fiadh’s final days."

Family, friends and members of the local community have also posted online to offer their condolences.

One wrote: "To all of you who love Fiadh, my heartfelt and deepest sympathy goes out at this unbearably sad time. Treasure all your memories of times spent with your beautiful little girl. May she Rest in peace, safe in her Grandad's arms."

A Carlow mother said: "No words can describe your loss or take away your heartache. I pray that memories of happy times spent with your beautiful, precious daughter will sustain you."


A third wrote: "Thinking of your Mam, Dad brother and all the family at this heartbreaking time. What a fighter you were."

Funeral arrangements are to follow. 

Story of terminally ill Tipperary girl told in the Dáil

Before the passing of Fiadh, the story of an unnamed terminally ill young girl who can't return home was heard in the Dáil just last week.

The 11-year-old girl is unable to return to her home in Co. Tipperary due to a lack of paediatric palliative care in south Tipp and the wider South East region.

Independent TD Michael Lowry, who raised the issue in the Dáil, said the girl's mother is "distraught at the prospect of not having her daughter at home for her final hours in the company of her family and friends."

Mr Lowry continued: "families have no alternative other than to broadcast their heartache in order to get the support they need. Families should not have to resort to politicians or the media at such a painful and difficult time."

Responding to the Tipp TD's story, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar agreed that it was wrong that the family had to go public in order to raise awareness of their difficult situation, promising that the issue would be resolved for this family and others who find themselves in a similar situation.

“Certainly the political will is there to fix it", Varadkar said. "I’m going to... convene a meeting of the Department of the Taoiseach involving the Minister for Health and the HSE just to get a proper overview of Paediatric Palliative Care services, find out what the problem is and then we’re going to fix it."