independent

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Rising young star Zena to perform at Aoife and Áine anniversary event

By Fintan Lambe

Zena Donnelly.
Zena Donnelly.
The late Áine Kennedy.
The late Aoife Kennedy.

A YOUNG girl from Dublin, who laid a flower at the grave during the funeral of Áine Kennedy seven years ago, will sing at a special concert in Gorey this weekend celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Aoife and Áine Kennedy Memorial Fund.

Fifteen-year-old Zena Donnelly sang with Whitney Houston on stage in Ireland when she was just eight years old. She featured in The Voice Kids UK this year; was a Junior Eurovision winner in 2016; and has appeared in several movies including 'A Christmas Star' featuring Pierce Brosnan.

Zena was eight years old when Áine Kennedy from Ballyellis, Carnew, died of culture negative sepsis, aged five-and-a-half, the same age as her sister Aoife was when she died in a road accident in Carnew four years previously.

'At Áine's burial, probably the most touching thing I ever saw, even though we were struck by grief a second time, was as the little white casket was going down, a little girl then only eight years old herself, stepped up to the graveside and lay a sunflower pot at the foot of the grave,' said their mother Caroline. 'It caught my eye and I stopped her going back to her mam, and asked her "Why a sunflower?" and she answered "She had a sunshine smile". This touched us forever, the generosity and thoughtfulness of a child.'

'This little child was Zena,' she added. 'Her mam and dad had become friends just after Aoife's death as we had fundraised together in Aoife's memory and their little boy's memory, Max. They lost Max to meningitis at ten-and-a-half months, so they knew our pain.

The 'Night of Stars' in the Ashdown Park Hotel, Gorey, on Friday, November 10, at 8 p.m. will also feature a song written for Aoife and Áine by Charlie McGettigan, performed by Martin Lacey. Other acts include the Wolseley Singers, Paul Hennessy, The Navvies, Coláiste Bhríde Carnew orchestra, Michael Flood, Deirdre Masterson, Kelli Ann Masterson, Aileen Donohoe, Bobby Byrne, and Martin Lacey.

Tickets available at the door. Proceeds go to fund an MRI scanner in Wexford General Hospital.

Wexford People

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