Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Air France disaster: Heartbroken colleagues hold vigils for missing Irish doctors

Published 03/06/2009 | 06:01

Devastated colleagues of three young Irish doctors who were among 228 feared dead aboard the missing Air France jet, held prayer vigils and opened books of condolences in their honour yesterday.

Promising young doctors Dr Eithne Walls (28), from Ballygowan, Co Down, Dr Jane Deasy (27), from Rathgar, Dublin and Dr Aisling Butler (26), from Roscrea, Co Tipperary, were among the passengers aboard Air France flight 447 who are feared dead after the Airbus A330 vanished over the Atlantic four hours after it left Rio de Janeiro bound for Paris on Monday.

But as the families of the young women continue to come to terms with their loss, friends, colleagues and former classmates of the three women sent condolences and attended special prayer services for them yesterday.

All three had worked as interns at The Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght, south Dublin, upon graduation while Dr Butler was on the staff at the A&E department.

Colleagues at the hospital attended a special prayer service held for them yesterday afternoon in the hospital’s chapel while colleagues of Dr Walls, who worked as an ophthalmologist at the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin where Dr Deasy was due to commence working next month, also attended a similar prayer service for them yesterday morning.

In a statement issued by the Adelaide and Meath Hospital yesterday, hospital officials said their thoughts are with the young women and their families. A book of condolences was also opened for staff and friends at the hospital yesterday.

The Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital said staff are “deeply upset and dismayed by the news” of the tragedy.

Dr Walls, who joined the hospital’s staff in January “was a vibrant, young, energetic, talented, enthusiastic doctor and such a willing and valued member of the staff”, the hospital said in a statement yesterday.

Dr John Hegarty, provost of Trinity College Dublin, said the university’s students and faculty are also deeply shocked by the tragedy.

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