herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Mass will pay tribute to tragic bride-to-be Majella

Newly-engaged Majella Donoghue and her fiance Barry Doherty
Newly-engaged Majella Donoghue and her fiance Barry Doherty

A mass will be said in honour of tragic bride-to-be Majella Donoghue in her hometown as her family await the repatriation of her remains.

The popular 30-year-old, from Tirrane, Belmullet, Co Mayo, died after falling ill on a flight home from a trip to South Africa last weekend, where she had become engaged to fiance Barry Doherty, from Ballina.

The couple had enjoyed a dream holiday to celebrate their engagement before tragedy struck on their return.

After landing at London's Heathrow Airport last Sunday, Majella was rushed to hospital, where she later died.

Fr John Loftus, of St Brendan's church in Tirrane, said he will pay tribute to the "vivacious and kind-hearted" young woman at the village church tonight. Majella's family live next door.

A steady stream of people have paid their respects to the Donoghue family as they wait for Majella's body to be brought home.

"They're going through a lot of pain but they don't feel they are on their own as they wait for Majella to come home," Fr Loftus said as he comforted her devastated family last night.

Majella is survived by her mother Mary, brothers Tommy, David and Brendan and sister Angela. Her twin brother Stephen is holding up as best as he can under the circumstances, Fr Loftus said.

"They did so much together. He helped her in her charity work as well," he added.

Clot

The family doesn't expect her body will be repatriated until next week "at the earliest" said Fr Loftus.

Majella's cause of death has not been released, but it is understood a post-mortem examination has been completed.

It is suspected she may have suffered a blood clot in her lungs during the flight.

Former colleagues at children's charities where Majella worked as a volunteer paid tribute to her as a devoted campaigner for children's rights who adored young people.

Brian O'Neill, director of fundraising for the Christina Noble Children's Foundation in Dublin, said Majella was committed to improving the lives of impoverished children around the world and had travelled to Saigon to raise funds on their behalf.

"Our hearts are broken. It's incredibly sad on all levels," he said.

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