An online charity concert is set to take place tonight in memory of a nine-year-old girl who died suddenly this time last year during a procedure following open heart surgery.
The Heart Angel charity is inspired by Béibhinn O’Connor from Riverstick in Co Cork who was a much loved only child.
It aims to celebrate her life and the lives of other children who have passed away in Ireland by creating remembrance gardens.
Béibhinn died suddenly on the 16th of September 2020 of cardiac arrest during what was expected to be a routine procedure Her mother Irene said that at the graveside of her daughter she had a feeling of “this can’t be it.” She started fundraising for various charities and decided to come up with novel ways to keep the loving spirit of Beibhinn alive.
The Heart Angel charity plans to create memory gardens in every county in Ireland. It has already begun working with local authorities.
Today a concert, which features the City of Cork Symphony Orchestra and many of Beibhinn's friends, will take place online and ticketless with voluntary donations going to the Heart Angel charity.
Irene says holding the concert has helped her with her grief in the week of her daughter's first anniversary.
Meanwhile, conductor of the City of Cork Symphony Orchestra Brian Murphy told Cork's 96FM that there are plans to hold an in person event next year.
"We have learned in the last twenty four hours that plans are afoot to bring this to a live show next year in Cork Opera House."
Meanwhile, the first Heart Angel garden is planned for Carrigaline, Co Cork. A second garden will be created in Cork City next year.
Irene says the gardens are inspired by positivity, kindness, creativity and colour and will be rolled out in the 26 counties.
“There will be a sculpture in each garden of the ‘Heart Angel’ which will represent children who have died.
"We want the gardens to be colourful, uplifting and inspiring to all members of society. We also want to lift the taboo of speaking about a child’s death and to create a place where their friends and family can remember them in a positive light.
Remarkably, over €100,000 has been raised in Béibhinn’s name for childrens’ charities since she passed away.
For more information about the Heart Angel charity, please visit the website www.theheartangel.com