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Statement from Templebreedy National School and Bishop Paul Colton

Following the tragic death of Emily Roman at Fountainstown, Co. Cork

On behalf of the entire community at Templebreedy National School, Crosshaven, County Cork, the Bishop of Cork, Dr Paul Colton, as Patron of the school, the school Principal, Doris Bryan, and the Chairperson of the Board of Management, Michael Hodder, have made the following statement.

‘The entire school community in our small Church of Ireland school in Crosshaven, County Cork, together with the local parish and community, are in shock and are utterly devastated at the death of our 2nd class pupil Emily Roman.  Most of all we are all heartbroken for Emily’s family and loved ones.’

‘Emily would have been eight years old tomorrow. Emily and her twin brother Jeremy have been in our school since they joined Junior Infants in 2020.’

Doris Bryan, the school principal, who is also Emily’s class–teacher in second class, describes her as: ‘kind, with a bubbly personality. She had a beautiful smile.  She was greatly loved by everyone and was very popular with all her friends.  She was also very artistic and a gifted young girl.  On behalf of the school I extend our deepest sympathies to Emily’s parents, Marta and Slawomir, her older sister Inga and her twin brother Jeremy. We are doing our best at the moment to make our school a safe space for all our school community to be together and to support each other as we remember Emily and come to terms with what has happened.   Again our primary focus, for Emily’s sake, is with her family and loved ones.

‘The school has implemented its Critical Incident Plan. Psychologists from the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) are already here and are supporting and advising the school in our efforts to stand alongside everyone in our school community, especially students and staff.  We are also being supported by our local clergy and our bishop who are here too.’

Bishop Paul Colton, patron of the school, said:

‘Most of us cannot begin to imagine the suffering that this family must now be going through. We are all, however, in shock and devastated. On behalf of us all in the Church of Ireland, in general, and in connection with Templebreedy National School and Templebreedy Parish, in particular, I too extend our sincere sympathy to everyone in the Roman family, to Emily’s mother, Marta, father Slawomir, twin brother Jeremy, and older sister Inga.’

‘A tragedy like this is having a traumatic effect also on this small parish school at the start of this new school year, and also the wider community.   I am visiting the school this morning and throughout the day.  Practical support and prayers are assured for everyone in the school community, for Emily’s family, her fellow students, the school Principal, Doris Bryan, the teachers, staff, parents/guardians and members of the Board of Management.  I extend sympathy to you all.  I am also very conscious of the role played by the first responders, some of whom I know personally, and everyone in the rescue services and I’m conscious of the impact a tragedy such as this has on each of them as individuals.’   

‘My thoughts and prayers are with you all.’

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