'A beautiful girl with a permanent smile': Donegal nurse, 26, killed by fallen tree in Australia

A young Irish nurse has been killed in Australia after a tree fell onto a taxi she was travelling in.

'A beautiful girl with a permanent smile': Donegal nurse, 26, killed by fallen tree in Australia

Additional reporting by Digital Desk staff

A young Irish nurse has been killed in Australia after a tree fell onto a taxi she was travelling in.

26-year-old Mary Ellen Molloy from Ardara in Co Donegal died instantly in the freak accident which happened about 4pm yesterday (Irish time).

She had been working at the Royal Melbourne Hospital

Another young woman in the taxi, also believed to be from Co Donegal, was also injured in the tragedy but her injuries are not understood to be life-threatening.

Ms Molloy is from a well-known family and her uncle is Donegal's All-Ireland winning GAA captain and Fianna Fáil county councillor Anthony Molloy.

Her parents Terence and Angela Molloy, as well as her brothers John and Karl, are being comforted by family and friends.

A full investigation is being carried out by Australian police into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy.

A family friend who asked not to be named said: "Mary Ellen was doted on. Terence and Angela were so proud of her and very proud that she had qualified as a nurse and was living in Australia.

"She came back whenever she could but always kept in touch.

As you can imagine their whole lives have been turned upside down. It is just a very freak thing that has happened but so hard for them to accept.

"The entire community is in shock at what has happened and especially coming as it does at Christmas time."

A spokesperson for the Royal Melbourne Hospital said they were shocked by the loss of Mary Ellen.

"We send out deepest sympathies to the nurse's family and friends, who are grieving over this heartbreaking loss."

A spokesperson for Ardara GAA Club also posted a message of sympathy on the club's Facebook page.

The statement says "We awaken today as a Parish, numbed by the news from Australia of the death of Mary Ellen Molloy in Melbourne yesterday evening.

"Mary Ellen was a beautiful girl with a permanent smile who lit up every room she walked into.

"Her love for her family was always so evident whenever they were together, and we can only imagine the grief that Terence, Angela, John Ross, Karl Joseph and the Molloy and Gillespie families are feeling at this time.

"As a community, we have lost yet another shining light and as ever, we will do whatever we can to assist them at this terrible time.

"God Bless everyone who knew and loved the beautiful girl from Edergole. God Rest you Mary Ellen x."

Arrangements are being made for the return of Mary Ellen's remains for her funeral.

Donegal TD and Leas Cheann Comhairle Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher has expressed his profound sympathy on the tragic and untimely death of Mary Ellen Molloy.

Deputy Gallagher, a family friend of the Molloys, said there is a sense of numbness at the Ardara nurse's death in Melbourne.

He said: "When news broke last evening of her passing a deep sense of shock and numbness descended over Donegal

"Mary Ellen who comes from a highly respected Ardara family was an energetic, caring, compassionate and intelligent young lady who emigrated to Melbourne 16 months ago and has been home twice since.

She made a profound impact on all who encountered her in her work at Melbourne hospital was the comment of the Director of Nursing with whom I spoke to today.

"I have known the Molloy family for many years and I know only too well the pain and sadness they are suffering at this very sad time.

"I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathy to her parents Terence and Angela and to her siblings John Ross and Karl Joe as well as her many aunts, uncles, cousins and her extended family.

"Ar lámh dheis Dé a bhfuil sí."

A Melbourne sports club has set up a Go Fund Me page to support Mary Ellen's family. So far, it has reached €16,125 to assist both Mary Ellen's family, and two others who were involved in the accident.

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