Tributes are pouring in for a young Donegal nurse who tragically lost her life following an accident in Australia yesterday.
Mary Ellen Molloy from Edergole in Ardara suffered fatal injuries when a tree fell on a taxi she was travelling in.
The 26-year-old, who was working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, died instantly in the freak accident which happened about 4pm Irish time yesterday (Fri).
Another young woman in the taxi was also injured in the tragedy but her injuries are not understood to be life-threatening.
Ms Molloy is from a well-known family and her uncle is Donegal’s All-Ireland winning GAA captain and Fianna Fail county councillor Anthony Molloy.
Her parents Terence and Angela Molloy, as well as her brothers John and Karl, are being comforted by family and friends.
A full investigation is being carried out by Australian police into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.
A family friend who asked not to be named said “Mary Ellen was doted on. Terence and Angela were so proud of her and very proud that she had qualified as a nurse and was living in Australia.
“She came back whenever she could but always kept in touch.
“As you can imagine their whole lives have been turned upside down. It is just a very freak thing that has happened but so hard for them to accept.
“The entire community is in shock at what has happened and especially coming as it does at Christmas time.”
A spokesperson for the Royal Melbourne Hospital said they were shocked by the loss of Mary Ellen.
“We send out deepest sympathies to the nurse’s family and friends, who are grieving over this heartbreaking loss.”
A spokesperson for Ardara GAA Club also posted a message of sympathy on the club’s Facebook page.
The statement says “We awaken today as a Parish, numbed by the news from Australia of the death of Mary Ellen Molloy in Melbourne yesterday evening. Mary Ellen was a beautiful girl with a permanent smile who lit up every room she walked into.
“Her love for her family was always so evident whenever they were together, and we can only imagine the grief that Terence, Angela, John Ross, Karl Joseph and the Molloy and Gillespie families are feeling at this time.
“As a community we have lost yet another shining light and as ever, We will do whatever we can to assist them at this terrible time. God Bless everyone who knew and loved the beautiful girl from Edergole. God Rest you Mary Ellen x.”
Arrangements are being made for the return of Mary Ellen’s remains for her funeral.