Wednesday 11 December 2019

Relatives of Irish MH17 victim take comfort from 'beautiful' service in her adopted city

Sandra Toop, sister of Edel Mahady, prays during a memorial service for victims of the MH17 disaster
Sandra Toop, sister of Edel Mahady, prays during a memorial service for victims of the MH17 disaster
Edel Mahady, who died in Malaysian Airlines disaster
Edel Mahady
Luke Byrne

Luke Byrne

The Irish victim of the MH17 atrocity has been remembered at a poignant service in her adopted city of Perth in Australia.

Relatives, colleagues, students and friends of Edel Mahady attended a service for victims of the Ukraine crash.

The mother of two, who lived in the city for more than two decades, was an administrative assistant at the Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School.

Relatives of Ms Mahady, originally from Lucan in Dublin, said they were overwhelmed by the sympathy shown by the public since last Friday.

Tom Mahady, a cousin of Edel's husband Derek, said his family were humbled by yesterday's turnout and thanked the archbishop who organised the Mass in St Mary's Cathedral.

"The service was beautiful, and uplifting.

"It was a great to have a Mass for all those who died," Mr Mahady said.

Mr Mahady spoke with Derek, who is still coming to terms with his wife's death.

Further details have emerged about her final hours. Her husband had been planning to fly to Europe on business and had suggested that they fly back to Australia together.

But Ms Mahady was eager to get back to work and so decided to travel home alone. Along with her husband, she is survived by her son Conor and daughter Ciara. Edel had been in Dublin visiting her mother.

Ms Mahady's family said she took care of people and was "immeasurably proud" of her husband and children.

It could be be months before her remains are identified.

Unarmed military police have travelled from the Netherlands – where most of the victims were from – to Ukraine to help retrieve the remaining bodies.

"They're saying it could take weeks or even months before that is finished," said Labour TD Willie Penrose, a first cousin of Ms Mahady.

Mr Penrose has been in contact with her family in recent days.

Irish Independent

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