Teen raises €1,700 after family tragedy

by Gazette Reporter
Jasmine Flynn

THE sister of a young girl who tragically drowned three years ago is raising awareness about the importance of water safety and has raised over €1,700 for Irish Water Safety (IWS).

Jasmine Flynn (16) from Blanchardstown organised a talent show at her school, Coolmine Community School, earlier this year, with proceeds from the night going to support IWS.

Jasmine raised €1,770 for the organisation which was officially handed over to Roger Sweeney, the deputy chief executive at IWS, last week.

Sweeney said: “Jasmine is a credit to her family and to her school for accomplishing this positive endeavour in the wake of such a tragedy.”

On June 24, 2009, Jasmine’s sister, Kayleigh, had been crossing the river Liffey at the Wren’s Nest weir on the Strawberry Beds, when she slipped. The 16-year-old became trapped under the submerged branches of a tree. Rescue workers battled to release her but the water current was too strong.

Since her death, her younger sister, Jasmine, has been raising awareness about water safety. Jasmine and Kayleigh’s mother, Sandra, spoke to the Gazette about how proud she is of Jasmine, and what a lovely tribute it is to Kayleigh.

“Jasmine wanted to do something good for water safety and this all came about,” said Sandra.

“Jasmine said, ‘obviously we can’t bring Kayleigh back, but if it prevents one other person going through what we went through, then it’s something’.

“She wanted to raise funds for the IWS to raise awareness – I’m very proud.

“There was the fifth-year presentation [at the school] for the Junior Cert and after was Jasmine’s presentation. Roger [Sweeney] got up and said a few words, promoting water safety.

“Water is very tempting and [kids] think they will be fine, but I would say, don’t go anywhere swimming or walking across places like [the weir] unless there are lifeguards and things around,” she said.

Sandra thanked everyone who helped to raise the money.

Roger Sweeney said: “It was truly humbling to speak with Jasmine over the last number of months.

“140 families suffer a similar tragedy every year and of particular sadness is the fact that 40 children aged 14 and under have drowned in the last 10 years alone.

“We can all help to reduce drownings by learning how to stay safe and instilling in children and adults alike the [right] knowledge, skills and attitudes through Irish Water Safety information and courses.

“Details [of these courses] are available at www.iws.ie.”

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