An Irishwoman has been named among the dead passengers on board Malaysia Air plane that crashed yesterday in Ukraine.
Edel Mahady, a mother of two and the cousin of Irish TD (Senator) Willie Penrose, was traveling home to Perth, in Australia. Mahady, who grew up in Palmerstown, Dublin, had been in Ireland to visit her mother, who is unwell. She was traveling on her Australian passport.
Ireland's Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, confirmed that Ireland has lost a citizen in a statement released today. “Sadly, we have learned that one Irish-born citizen was on board the flight to Kuala Lumpur. On behalf of the Government and people of Ireland, I would like to convey deepest sympathies to her family, both in Ireland and in Australia, who have suffered this sudden and devastating loss," he said. “I spoke to her family earlier today to convey my sincere condolences."
Sister Philomena Tiernan, a Catholic nun of Irish Australian descent, was also lost in the disaster.
“She was a very beloved member of the Sydney community. She was Australian born and bred but with a name like Tiernan, she had deep roots in Ireland,” Father Tony Doherty, a friend of Sister Tiernan’s, told RTE.
Reports are emerging of the names and nationalities of the passengers and crew on flight MH17, which crashed yesterday in rebel-held eastern Ukraine en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. All 298 on board, from at least 10 countries, are believed to have died in the crash.
Victims include a famous AIDS researcher and a number of scientists and a World Health Organization official en route to a conference in Australia, many families, and college students headed on vacation.
Thus far the Netherlands has seen the greatest loss, with 173 citizens lost in the disaster. Malaysia lost 44; Australia, 28; Indonesia, 12; and the UK 9. Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand and Hong Kong are also reporting losses, while the nationalities of some of those on board are yet to be determined. President Obama has announced that at least one US citizen was killed.
As the search for US Ambassador to the UN, Irish-born Samantha Power, has directly pointed the finger at Russia for the disaster of the Malaysian passenger plane, which was shot down by a missile while traveling at an altitude of 33,000 feet.
Her remarks were the first US public statement linking the Putin government to the downed plane.
In a dramatic statement at an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting Power stated that “We assess Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 carrying these 298 people from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was likely downed by a surface-to-air missile, an SA-11, operated from a separatist-held location in eastern Ukraine,” Power said.
She also stated the United States could not “rule out technical assistance by Russian personnel” in operating the system.
“Russia must stop destabilizing Ukraine,”. Power said. “Russia can end this war. Russia must end this war.”
Power later expressed similar views via Twitter