Monday 11 December 2017

Body of tragic bride-to-be Majella (30) to be brought back to Ireland today

Majella Donoghue and Barry Doherty. Picture: Facebook
Majella Donoghue and Barry Doherty. Picture: Facebook
Majella Donoghue and Barry Doherty. Picture: Facebook

Ian Begley

The body of the bride-to-be who died after falling ill on the flight home from a dream holiday will be returned to her family today.

Majella Donoghue (30), from Tirrane, Belmullet, on the Erris Peninsula, Co Mayo, was with her fiancé on a return flight from South Africa when tragedy struck.

It is understood that Ms Donoghue, described as "vivacious and kind-hearted", may have suffered a problem with her lungs during the flight.

Her family and other relatives will gather at Knock airport at 2.20pm today to receive Ms Donoghue’s remains with the funeral departing to Belmullet at 3pm.

Majella Donoghue and Barry Doherty. Picture: Facebook
Majella Donoghue and Barry Doherty. Picture: Facebook

According to the young woman’s remains will arrive at at 2.20pm on Saturday.

“All are welcome to say their goodbyes at McDonnell's Funeral Home, Belmullet, this evening between 6.30pm and 8.30pm," according to the website.

“Majella will then spend a night at home which will be for family only. Funeral Mass will take place in St. Brendan's Church, Tirrane, on Sunday at 1.30pm followed by burial in Faulmore Cemetery. Afterwards everyone is invited to join in a celebration of Majella's life in the Broadhaven Bay Hotel, Belmullet.

“In keeping with the spirit of celebration and thanks giving, the family have asked that typical funeral attire is avoided and that donations are made to the ISPCC in Majella's name in lieu of flowers.”

Ms Donoghue died shortly after the flight to Cape Town in hospital with her grief-stricken fiancé Barry Doherty by her side as well as a family member who had rushed over from Ireland.

A post-mortem has been carried out but the results are not yet available.

Majella Donoghue supporting her county at Croke Park
Majella Donoghue supporting her county at Croke Park

Since her death, people have been flocking in large numbers to the Donoghue family home to sympathise with her mother Mary, twin brother Stephen, other brothers Tommy, David and Brendan and her sister Angela.

Ms Donoghue, who worked as a talent acquisition specialist at Galway city-based firm Boston Scientific, was predeceased by her father Willie some years ago.

Local priest Fr John Loftus said that the community was numbed by the sudden death of a young woman who was "pleasant, considerate and kind".

"Just to meet Majella would put you in good form," he added.

Fr Loftus said Ms Donoghue was always mindful of her family, travelling home frequently to visit and help her mother attend to the cleaning and decorative needs of their local Tirrane church.

"She had a social conscience," he added. "Her good deeds spanned the world. She worked in Vietnam on charity purposes at one stage."

Local county councillor Gerry Coyle recalled that Ms Donoghue once worked in Costcutters Supermarket, Belmullet. "She was highly thought of, very approachable," he said.

While in Capetown, Ms Donoghue and Mr Doherty visited her godparents and the couple became engaged.

"What should be a very happy time for the family and community is now clouded in sadness," Mr Coyle added.

Ms Donoghue also worked as an advocacy volunteer for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as well as for the Christina Noble Children's Foundation.

In her earlier career days, she produced a documentary on Wolverhampton Wanderers aimed at promoting the football club and increasing its fan base.

Ms Donoghue had also worked for the Galway Advertiser newspaper, along with her fiancé.

Its editor, Declan Varley, paid tribute to her yesterday and spoke of her popularity.

"Majella and Barry both worked with the Advertiser and were both very popular colleagues," he said.

"Majella had a great air of positivity about her. For her, everything was about possibility and goodness.

"She lit up her workplace with her smile and her happiness.

"News of her untimely death has placed a cloud of sadness over us all this week."

He added: "She lit up our lives for just a short while and we are very saddened. We cannot but imagine the pain that her family and Barry are suffering. Our thoughts are with them. I hope that it is some consolation that she illuminated so many places and contributed so much goodness in her short life."

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