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Monday 22 September 2014

'I'll see you again,' Irish victim said to family before leaving

Sam Griffin and Fiona Dillon

Published 19/07/2014 | 02:30

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Irishwoman Edel Mahady, who had been living in Australia for the last several years, was one of the victims of the plane crash
Irishwoman Edel Mahady, who had been living in Australia for the last several years, was one of the victims of the plane crash
Edel Mahady

THE Irish woman who died in the Malaysian air disaster told her mother "I'll see you again" before she left on her journey back to her adopted home of Australia.

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Edel Mahady had been visiting her mother for two weeks before she took flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine, killing all 298 crew and passengers on board.

The mother of two visited her mother in Dublin several times a year and was on the second leg of her journey back to Perth via Kuala Lumpur.

Palmerstown local parish priest Fr Tony Reilly said that Ms Mahady said goodbye to her mother before she departed for the airport.

"She said, 'I'll see you again'," Fr Reilly said.

Aged in her 50s, Mrs Mahady was originally from Palmerstown in west Dublin but had emigrated to Australia where she had started a new life and had two children with her husband Dermot.

She worked as a school administrator at the Good Shepherd Catholic School in Kelmscott, just outside Perth in Western Australia.

She had been travelling on her Irish passport at the time of the incident, which meant her nationality had not been immediately released after the crash.

Fr Reilly said he called to the home of Mrs Mahady's mother, Monica Byrne, in Palmerstown yesterday morning where they said prayers for Edel and her family.

"They are grieving," he said of the family. "They can't believe it. They are grieving and greatly shocked and traumatised."

He added that there was a "great bond" among family members and that Edel was "very attentive to her mother" and "came frequently to visit her".

Ms Mahady departed from Dublin on Wednesday to return to Perth after she had been home for two weeks. The priest said she grew up on Turret Road, and her husband is also from Dublin.

He said that the local community were deeply saddened by the tragic death of Edel. Her family in Palmerstown were too upset to make any comment last night.

Mrs Mahady is the first cousin of the wife of Labour TD Willie Penrose. The Longford/Westmeath Dail deputy declined to comment on the tragic death.

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan last night said he wanted to convey "deepest sympathies" to Mrs Mahady's family.

Shocked

"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear of the crash of flight MH17, and the sudden loss of almost 300 innocent lives. My thoughts are with the families of all those around the globe who lost their lives in this tragic incident," he said.

He called for an independent international investigation. "I encourage all the authorities involved – and the parties to the conflict in Ukraine – to work together, to ensure that the hundreds of families who have been bereaved can get the answers they need," Mr Flanagan said.

The Embassy of the Netherlands in Dublin has announced a book of condolences will be open for the public to sign on Monday and Tuesday next week from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 4pm on both days.

Irish Independent

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