Memorial planned for 'passionate and caring' model Alli MacDonnell

The family and friends of the late model and autism campaigner Alli MacDonnell are organising a memorial for her.

Close friend Lisa Burgess paid tribute to the mother of four, describing her as “wickedly funny, naughty, full of mischief and extraordinarily caring and compassionate”.

“She was an extraordinary mother and lived for her kids and her wonderful family,” she said.

Ms Burgess, who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and now lives in Spain, said her friend was a huge support to her during her treatment.

They first met 10 years ago while Ms Burgess was working as a stylist for TV3.

In recent years, Ms MacDonnell fronted campaigns for Autism Ireland after her youngest son was diagnosed with the condition.

Ms MacDonnell (37) passed away suddenly early Monday morning.

“I had chemo recently. As always Alli would be sending me funny messages to keep my spirits up. She was positive and upbeat and her last message to me in recent days was ‘I love thee xxxx’.

“She was a passionate voice for autism. She managed to balance work, charity and mothering four children with aplomb. I admired this greatly.

“She faced the challenges of autism head on and helped many with unseen work.

“It has been agreed that with her family and work colleagues we will organise a memorial to Alli. This memorial will be in honour of the most beautiful woman inside and out I had the privilege to know,” said Ms Burgess.

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