Irish aid worker dies in African accident

Dublin woman Mary Ann O'Driscoll who was killed in a traffic accident while doing aid work in Liberia
Connla Young

AN Irish Catholic aid worker has died after being struck by a speeding vehicle in Liberia.

It is believed Dublin woman Mary Ann O'Driscoll passed early on Wednesday just hours after the collision in the African country's capital, Monrovia.

The 24-year-old had worked in the impoverished African nation since February 2013 and was appointed to the role of director of Franciscan Works Liberia Mission in January.

The charity is dedicated to offering educational opportunities to young people.

In a blog published earlier this year Ms O'Driscoll spoke about her work.

"I thought I would be here for three months and that would be enough to satisfy my call to missionary," she said.

"I had every hope of travelling the world and even got accepted to a master's degree.

"My plan was set and I was looking forward to my time in Liberia so I could close that chapter and tick the `do volunteer work' box on my life check-list.

"After the three months I left Liberia with a heavy heart, I felt so drawn to missionary life and to the country."

She also spoke of her efforts to adapt to missionary life.

"We all want to change the world in some way, and it is true that we must start with ourselves."

Ms O'Driscoll is survived by her parents and several siblings.

Last night the charity she worked for described her as a "vibrant woman with an infectious, saintly faith".

A tribute paid on their website said: "At the young age of 24, she courageously served God and His people with a whole and diligent heart, never ceasing to seek and do God's will.

"She had the respect of the mission's Liberian staff, some who were almost twice her age, and she had the love and affection of the mission's youth."

The charity said Ms O'Driscoll was responsible for setting up several projects while in Liberia, which she had travelled to several times.

It added: "May the work of her hands and the light of her faith be forever remembered at Liberia Mission and by everyone that knew her.

"May the angels lead her into paradise."

In recent days, the Liberia has been left reeling after the deadly Ebola virus, which has claimed hundreds of lives, re-emerged.

The country was declared free of the virus earlier this year.


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