TRIBUTES have been paid to an Irish woman who died in a road accident in Australia on Friday evening.
Mary Ellen Molloy from Edergole, Ardara, Co. Donegal, died when the car she was travelling in was struck by a falling branch.
A friend who was in the back seat with Ms Molloy remains in hospital following the incident in South Melbourne.
A third passenger and the driver were unhurt.
In a moving tribute, the Ardara GAA Facebook page described Ms Molloy, 26, as "a beautiful girl with a permanent smile who lit up every room she walked into".
It added: "As a community we have lost yet another shining light and as ever we will do whatever we can to assist them at this terrible time. God Bless everyone who knew and loved the beautiful girl from Edergole."
We send our deepest condolences to the Molloy family on the death of their beautiful daughter and sister Mary Ellen, everyone who knew and loved her is in our thoughts at this time
— Naomh Conaill GAA (@NaomhConaillGAA) December 21, 2019
Donegal TD Pat Gallagher also paid tribute to the 'compassionate' nurse, who emigrated to Australia last year.
Posting on Facebook, he wrote: "Mary Ellen, who comes from a highly respected Ardara family, was an energetic, caring, compassionate and intelligent young lady who emigrated to Melbourne 16 months ago and has been home twice since.
“She made a profound impact on all who encountered her in her work at Melbourne hospital was the comment of the Director of Nursing with whom I spoke today.
“I have known the Molloy family for many years and I know only too well the pain and sadness they are suffering at this very sad time."
An online fundraising page set up by St Kevin’s GAC in Melbourne to assist the families has so far raised more than €12,000.
The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to Ms Molloy's family.