The late Aisling O'Connor from Ballyshannon
Families, friends, neighbours, teaching staff and student colleagues from Donegal, Limerick and across the country are coming to terms with the tragic death of a young Ballyshannon woman in a kayaking accident in Kerry on Saturday.
21-year-old Aisling O’Connor, from The Abbey, Ballyshannon was one of two University of Limerick (UL) students rescued by emergency services after getting into difficulty while kayaking in a river near Caragh lake in Glencar, Killarney on Saturday afternoon.
A second year science student at UL, Aisling was one of a group of more than 30 students from the university who were on a kayaking trip from the college.
A hugely popular young woman, she has been described by friends as “bubbly, bright, hugely talented, a great organiser and a great worker”.
Aisling and a 21-year-old male kayaker were rescued by members of a HSE-coordinated rescue on Saturday, November 2 around 3pm. The pair, both members of UL’s kayaking club, got into difficulty when their kayaks upturned in the river.
Aisling was airlifted to University Hospital Kerry, while the male was taken to the same hospital via ambulance. It’s understood he is in a stable condition.
News of the tragedy spread to Ballyshannon on Sunday, most reacting in disbelief, many recalling memories of a young woman who was very capable and hugely talented.
Aisling is survived by her parents Sorcha Begley, Ballyshannon and David O’Connor, Cork, her brothers Ciaran, Matthew and sisters Clodagh and Maeve, her grandparents Anthony and Marie Begley.
Known to many through school and college, locally many in Ballyshannon would have known her during her time working as a volunteer in the tourist office in Ballyshannon and in the off licence at Dicey Reillys where she always greeted customers with a smile.
Funeral arrangements to be announced later.