She was a wee angel

The father of the little girl who was killed when a car struck her and a group of friends in West Belfast has described his only daughter as “a perfect wee angel”.
And the Christmas gifts bought for tragic eight-year-old Emma Lynch will go with her to the grave, he revealed.
New Lodge man Joe Caughey said he was devoted to his little girl and was dreading Christmas without her.
“Christmas is over. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Everything is over,” he said.
And in a cruel twist of fate a beautiful message written by Joe to his daughter inside a jewellery box will never be read by the little girl it was penned for.
The note in a Christmas present has an even more poignant and heartbreaking resonance in light of her death.
He explained how he had bought her a silver pendant adorned with an angel because “ she was always a wee angel”.
The message reads: “That’s who sent you from heaven sweetheart and keeps you safe forever. Love Daddy.”
Tragically little Emma never lived to receive the gift she would have been wearing on Christmas Day.
Instead the chain adorns her lifeless body as she was prepared to be laid to rest from her mum Eileen Lynch’s home in West Belfast.
The distressed father was speaking just hours after the life support machine that was connected to Emma was switched off.
Clearly devastated and trembling with emotion the stunned dad spoke of the harrowing moment the realisation came that he would never again speak to his daughter alive.
“Her mother had her in her arms and she just drifted away. We wanted to give her some dignity. We let her die in our arms,” he said as he fought back tears.
Little Emma was walking along Springfield Road with 11-year-old Christopher Shaw, his 13-year-old brother Darren and nine-year-old little sister Claire.
Darren Shaw was still fighting for his life in the Royal Victoria Hospital this morning (Tuesday) with doctors describing his condition as critical.
Emma was with the youngsters and Christopher and Darren’s dad Michael when the horror smash occurred.
Christopher, who was to celebrate his twelfth birthday on Monday died instantly in the crash.
The driver of the red Vauxhall appeared in court on Monday charged with dangerous driving. Wayne Johnston, 42, of Highfield Drive was also charged with causing grievous bodily injury to Darren Shaw.
Emma’s father revealed the little girl had the leash of a puppy the group were taking for a walk when the car ploughed into them as they stood at traffic lights. The puppy ran off in the aftermath of the accident.
“They were only walking because they were giving the wee puppy a walk. At any other time they would have been getting driven in the car.”
Just hours after the ventilator was switched off the devastated father said he was numb.
“For three days we had hope, she was coming back and then she wasn’t. At one stage she was breathing.
“We were anxiously waiting and counting every minute and then we were told there was nothing anyone could do. She had just wanted to walk the wee dog because her pet dog died a couple of weeks ago and I told her it was in heaven.
“She was a perfect angel and she just looked like an angel in the hospital. She just looked like she was asleep; there was not a bruise or a broken bone on her. That’s why we were hopeful because we didn’t see any marks or anything.
“It’s so unreal, it’s like a bad dream and I still can’t believe it has happened. She fought to the end and won the hearts of the doctors for she was a fighter and wanted to live. I know now she was too good to belong to this world and they had to take her back.”

Journalist:: Andrea McKernon

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