The family of Eithne Walls are facing an agonising wait to discover if any bodies from the Air France disaster will be recovered.
Investigators are preparing to examine debris spotted on the Atlantic Ocean, which has raised hopes that some human remains could be found.
Some oil, a plane seat and other items were sighted yesterday north-east of Brazil's Fernando de Noronha island, the Brazilian air force said.
The families of Ballygowan victim Dr Eithne Walls and her friends Jane Deasy and Aisling Butler fear that they may not find out the truth about what happened onboard the ill-fated Airbus A330 flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, which disappeared with 228 people on board.
Last night Aer Lingus confirmed that two of its employees were on the missing Air France flight. They are believed to be from eastern Europe and were based at the airline's headquarters in Dublin.
The Walls family yesterday released a poignant statement which described Eithne as “an extraordinary person who brought light into the lives of everyone she touched”.
It continued: “She was beautiful in every way, especially of spirit. She had a passion for life that permeated, enlivened and enriched those around her.”
The statement concluded: “Eithne we will miss your easy smile. We will miss your loving embrace. We will miss your happy hello and we will miss your dancing feet. We will miss your silliness, your wit and your hugs.”