Ellie’s memory is to live on at her former school

The late Ellie Nicholl pictured with mum Ciara

Plans are afoot to create a permanent memorial to popular pupil Ellie Nicholl at her former school. 
St Patrick’s Primary School in Mullanaskea will soon be home to Ellie’s Memorial Garden, built in honour of the eight-year-old from Cradien, outside Enniskillen, who passed away in March 2016. 
Ellie’s parents Ciara and Billy say they are delighted that the school’s Parent Teacher Association are creating Ellie’s Memorial Garden in memory of their “little Angel”. 
Ciara told the Herald: “Ellie was very lucky to have attended St Patrick’s Primary School where she was like any other child and included in all that took place. The gorgeous design includes a swing which Ellie loved and all the work is being carried out by parents volunteering their time.”
A spokesman for the school said: “Ellie was loved and is missed by all at St Patrick’s. She was inspirational and her sense of fun was infectious. The PTA under the instruction and with consultation of the Principal, Dr Louise O’Neill, thought the most appropriate and fitting tribute to Ellie would be to design and construct a garden in the school grounds. This will provide a place to remember, reflect and enjoy. The design by PTA member Sandra McSorley incorporates an area for each school year to design, plant and maintain. The paving was kindly donated by Acheson and Glover and we are seeking volunteers to assist with the preparation and laying of the paving. Payment will be provided in the form of tea, coffee, craic and appreciation.”
Meanwhile Ciara and Billy have confirmed that Ellie’s Retreat is now fully booked until the end of the season. The quiet rural retreat based in Castle Archdale was launched earlier this year, offering free breaks exclusively for families who have suffered the loss of a child. 
Ciara said the popularity of Ellie’s Retreat has been “very bitter sweet”. 
“Initially we were worried that the word would not get out there and the first year would be slow regarding occupancy, however, it has been the complete opposite. It is heartbreaking to face the reality that we are doing is in memory of our little girl who is no longer with us but also the fact that when we winterise at the end of October we will have provided 25 families with the break they so much needed in Ellie’s name.”

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Ellie’s Retreat will be available from Sunday, March 12th

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