A family room on a children's leukaemia ward in Cork has been given a makeover thanks to a 17-year-old schoolgirl from Mallow in Co Cork.

Emma O'Callaghan, a 5th year student at St Mary's College, won an online Gaisce competition to help redesign the facility at the Mercy University Hospital in Cork.

Her idea of a circus themed room was realised with the help of professional designers Optimise Design, and with €10,000 in sponsorship from furniture company DFS.

Therese Crowley, from Bandon, whose daughter Lauren used to visit the unit for regular cancer treatment, said the new facility will be a great bonus for families in what can be very trying times.

The unit at the Mercy University Hospital is the only independent facility of its kind outside of Dublin and is currently looking after the in-patient and at home needs of 40 children.