Australian ambassador lays wreaths at grave of young Donegal woman who died in Melbourne

The embassy's Head of Mission visited Donegal when lockdown restrictions eased

Australian Embassy's Head of Mission lays wreaths at the grave of Mary Ellen Molloy. Photo courtesy of John McConnell

Australian Embassy's Head of Mission lays wreaths at the grave of Mary Ellen Molloy. Photo courtesy of John McConnell

The Australian Embassy Head of Mission Mr Robert Owen-Jones has visited Ardara to lay two wreaths at the grave of Mary Ellen Molloy.

Donegal was Mr Owen-Jones first port of call on Monday as lockdown restrictions eased and people were allowed to travel anywhere in Ireland. He came to Ardara to pay his respects to the family of Mary Ellen who was working as a nurse in Australia when she died in a tragic road accident in December.

The ambassador laid one wreath on behalf of the Australian people and the second on behalf of the Royal Melbourne Hospital where Mary Ellen was held in the highest esteem.

Mr Owen-Jones extended his condolences to Mary Ellen’s family - her parents Terence and Angela, her brothers John Ross and Karl Joseph and the extended Molloy and Gillespie families.

Chairman of CLG Ard an Ratha John McConnell thanked the ambassador for paying this moving tribute on behalf of the Australian people. He spoke of the impact Mary Ellen’s death had on the close-knit community.

Mary Ellen’s uncle Cllr Anthony Molloy also thanked Mr Owen-Jones for visiting Ardara to pay his respects. Cllr Molloy extended his thanks to everyone who had offered spiritual and practical support to the family at the time of Mary Ellen’s death and in the intervening months.

Former TD Pat the Cope Gallagher expressed his gratitude to Mr Owen-Jones for the assistance provided in Melbourne at the time of Mary Ellen’s death and in her repatriation.

Weaver Eddie Doherty presented a handwoven hat and scarf to Mr Owen-Jones on behalf of CLG Ard an Ratha.

Mary Ellen Molloy was just 26 years of age when her life was cut short in a freak accident in Melbourne in December. At her funeral in the Church of the Holy Family, Ardara in January Mary Ellen was remembered by the many mourners as a dedicated and caring young nurse who always made time for others.  

Her untimely death sent shockwaves through Ardara and south Donegal. Monday’s event was a poignant reminder that this shock and sadness was also felt by those whose lives Mary Ellen touched during her time in Australia.

The ambassador also travelled to Letterkenny where he attended a physically distant gathering of Australians living in Donegal.

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