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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Mahady family: Edel wouldn't want time wasted on hatred

Published 20/07/2014 | 02:30

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Flowers lie on debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday near the village of Rozsypne, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Photo credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
Flowers lie on debris from a Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 plane which was downed on Thursday near the village of Rozsypne, in the Donetsk region of Ukraine. Photo credit: REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev

The family of the Irish victim of MH17, Edel Mahady paid an emotional tribute to her yesterday saying that she would not want anyone "wasting their time" hating those who had carried out the mass murder.

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The mother of two, who had been on a two-week visit to her native Dublin to spend time with her elderly mother, was on her way home to Australia when the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 was shot down over the Ukraine killing all 298 crew and passengers.

Edel, who was in her 50s, was from Palmerstown and visited home frequently from her adopted home in Perth. She is survived by her husband Dereck, a senior administrator working in the area of disabled sports, and two children, Conor and Ciara.

And Edel's aunt, Annie Byrne, has revealed that Edel's mother Monica knew immediately her daughter had been killed as soon as she saw the first news reports about the atrocity.

"She saw it on the news and knew straight away that it was Edel's plane . . . there is such evil in the world .We are devastated," said Mrs Byrne.

Edel spent time with her aunt and uncle Dick just last Monday before she began a journey home to Australia, a journey she would never complete.

In a statement issued yesterday, her family described her as a person "who took care of people. She was devoted to, and immeasurably proud of, her husband Dereck, son Conor and daughter Ciara. If there was an Irish version of a 'tiger mother' Edel was it. Edel's fierce love of her family was evident in her support of her siblings through constant communication and regular visits to care for her elderly mother. After emigrating to Australia as a newlywed, Edel gathered a group of friends and came to regard them as her Australian family," they said.

They pointed out that Edel's enthusiasm for living life was evident in the fact that she held two jobs that had a great impact on two communities.

"For 14 years she was the bursar/office manager at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School whilst working as a fitness instructor at Fitness First in Cannington and Myaree. Edel's personality and quality of her work positively affected generations of teachers and children in the Kelmscott area [of Perth]."

They added that Edel's dedication to the health and well-being of those she trained was unfailing.

"She loved nothing more than to champion and mentor someone struggling to lose weight, eat healthier or increase their fitness," the statement said.

"Edel didn't merely 'do' her work Her humour, strength, wisdom, joy and determination drove people to achieve their best. No-one wanted to let Edel down, she saw the best in people, put up with no nonsense and spoke with honesty and conviction. Edel dealt with prince or pauper the same. She respected hard work, integrity and regarded failure as an opportunity to do better next time. She was innovative, persistent and a champion of those who were struggling," the family said.

They added that Edel would not want anyone to waste time on hating those who carried out the attack.

"Rather she would be expecting us to 'suck it up' and make sure we looked after those who need it and to live fully," they added.

"Her family have shared her with many people throughout her work life but ask that their privacy is respected as they grieve for their beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend."

Sunday Independent

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