TRAGIC: Aneta Sawicka sadly passed away last week whilst swimming in a pool in Killarney.

By Michelle Crean

Friends and even strangers have rallied together and in days raised over €6,000 to help with funeral costs for a woman who tragically died in Killarney last week.

44-year-old Polish national Aneta Sawicka, whose funeral took place this morning (Friday) in St Mary’s Cathedral, died after taking ill whilst swimming at around 2.30pm in the Gleneagle Leisure Centre last Thursday.

Lifeguards came to her aid and the emergency services were on the scene within minutes, including the newly launched community air ambulance which was stood down.

It’s believed she was unresponsive when removed from the water, and was taken by ambulance to University Hospital Kerry (UHK), but later died.

Aneta’s two brothers travelled immediately from their hometown of Zuromin, and will take her asheshome with them. Sadly, her parents couldn’t make her funeral but will watch it live online on

Her close friend of 13 years, Lidia Lewandowska, says everyone is just shocked and they’re trying to terms with the devastating news.

“She was like a sister,” Lidia told the Killarney Advertiser.

“It was very unexpected, and we don’t know how it happened.”

Aneta had been living in Killarney for a number of years then moved to Cork to study Fine Art and Photography at Crawford College, and returned back to Killarney a few months ago.

She was very athletic, enjoyed the outdoors including days out mountain climbing and swam almost daily.

She also worked with local production company OC Productions on projects such as ‘Let’s be Frank’, ‘Bouncers’, ‘The Gift’ and ‘Tradition’.

“She was extremely talented. She loved sports and had visited the Himalayas. She was very healthy.”

She added that she’s so grateful to the local community for banding together so quickly to raise the funds.

“It was our time to show our respect for her and her family. It took three days to raise the funds and the page is now closed, but it just shows what people thought of her. We are going to miss her so much.”

The Gleneagle Group offered their sympathies saying it was ‘very tragic and sad for all concerned’.