THE DEATH of a talented Dundalk woman who died suddenly in Abu Dhabi last Friday has shocked her Ashbrook family and the wider community.
The cause of Marie Gonnelly's death has not been established and sources in the United Arab Emirates said a post mortem is likely to be carried out before the career adviser's remains are flown back to her family.
Ms Gonnelly, who was in her early thirties, died in her work accommodation at the New York University's campus in the UAE capital, where she was working the career development centre.
It is understood Ms Gonnelly had moved to the UAE about a year ago and had previously worked as a career guidance adviser at the Dublin Institute of Technology.
She studied at University College Cork, Trinity College and NUI Maynooth and specialised in career learning theory and education, career guidance and personal development. She is also a past pupil of the Friary School and St Vincent's.
A spokesman at the Abu Dhabi university said it sent its deepest condolences to the Gonnelly family. He said: ' Our thoughts and hearts are with them, her friends, and loved ones, during this very difficult time.
'Marie worked closely with our students to help them identify their own career aspirations, and how they could best meet those goals. She was not only a valued colleague, but a good friend to many in our community'.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was providing consular assistance to the family.
Over the past couple of days, tributes have poured in for the popular young woman, who is survived by her parents, Patrick and Linda; sisters Caroline and Alison, brother Paul; grandfather Michael McCormack (Navan); boyfriend Sean Mooney; nephews Jordan and Tiernan, niece Cara, uncles, relatives and many friends.
One colleague described Ms Gonnelly as ' a high achieving, more confident and effervescent woman still bursting with enthusiasm and knowledge, while always racing in that quest for more. Her love of and desire for learning is something we can all take with us in her memory'.
Another friend said: 'She was one of the brightest and most talented people I have ever met and she lived life to its fullest. Her light will never be extinguished'.
At present, no funeral arrangements have been made.