Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Family of Irish woman Edel Mahady killed on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 mourn 'tiger mother'

Edel Mahady returning to Australia after visit to her mum

Edel Mahady

The family of Irish woman Edel Mahady killed in the MH17 disaster said she would not have wanted anyone to waste time hating those who shot down the plane.

Mrs Mahady was in her fifties and was originally from Lucan, but had been living in Perth, Australia for the last two decades.

She had been visiting her mother for two weeks before she took flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 crew and passengers on board.

The mum-of-two visited her mother in Dublin several times a year and was on the second leg of her journey back to Perth via Kuala Lumpur.

In a statement asking for privacy to grieve, the family said she would have expected people to help those in need after the crash rather focusing on who was to blame.

The statement from the family reads: "Edel took care of people. She was devoted to and immeasurably proud of her husband Dereck, son Conor and daughter Ciara.

"If there was an Irish version of a ‘tiger mother’ Edel was it. Edel’s fierce love of her family was evident in her support of her siblings through constant communication and regular visits to care for her elderly mother. After immigrating to Australia as a newlywed, Edel gathered a group of friends and came to regard them as her Australian family.

"Edel’s enthusiasm for living life was evident in the fact she held two jobs that had a great impact on two communities. For 14 years she was the Bursar/Office Manager at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School whilst working as a fitness instructor at Fitness First in Cannington and Myaree. Edel’s personality and quality of her work positively affected generations of teachers and children in the Kelmscott area.

"Her dedication to the health and wellbeing of those she trained was unfailing. She loved nothing more than to champion and mentor someone struggling to lose weight, eat healthier or increase their fitness.

"Edel didn’t merely ‘do’ her work, her humour, strength, wisdom, joy and determination drove people to achieve their best. No one wanted to let Edel down, she saw the best in people, put up with no nonsense and spoke with honesty and conviction. Edel dealt with prince or pauper the same. She respected hard work, integrity and regarded failure as an opportunity to do better next time. She was innovative, persistent and a champion of those who were struggling. She would be heartbroken to know how saddened we are by her death, she would not want anyone to waste time on hating those who did this rather she would be expecting us to ‘suck it up’ and make sure we looked after those who need it and to live fully.

A pro-Russian fighter holds up a toy found among the debris at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, Friday, July 18, 2014. Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew high above the country's battlefield. The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
A pro-Russian fighter holds up a toy found among the debris at the crash site of a Malaysia Airlines jet near the village of Hrabove, Friday, July 18, 2014. Emergency workers, police officers and even off-duty coal miners spread out Friday across the sunflower fields and villages of eastern Ukraine, searching the wreckage of a Malaysia Airlines jet shot down as it flew high above the country's battlefield. The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
People arrange candles to offer prayers for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17,  at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 18, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines jetliner was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world from Malaysia to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
People arrange candles to offer prayers for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, at a shopping mall in Petaling Jaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, July 18, 2014. The Malaysia Airlines jetliner was carrying 298 people when it was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday in eastern Ukraine, sending shockwaves around the world from Malaysia to the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)
Donetsk People's Republic fighters fill their tank with fuel at a gas station in Snizhne, 100 kilometers east of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
Donetsk People's Republic fighters fill their tank with fuel at a gas station in Snizhne, 100 kilometers east of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

"Her family have shared her with many people throughout her work life but ask that at this time their privacy is respected as they grieve for their beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend."

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