Melbourne and Donegal to unite for Mary Ellen

A DONEGAL family is planning a major fundraiser, ‘Walk with M.E.’, for Downstrands Family Resource Centre and the Kevin Bell repatriation trust on St Stephen’s Day.

The ‘Walk with M.E’ event will see people from across Donegal and Melbourne come together and walk 5k to raise funds for two very worthy causes.

Event organiser John Ross Molloy lost his older sister Mary Ellen in a horrific car accident in Australia just a few days before last Christmas.


Mary Ellen (26) from Ardara was killed when a tree fell on a taxi she was travelling in with two of her fellow nurses. Ms Molloy died instantly in the freak accident on Friday, December 20, 2019 in Melbourne.

The services of the KRBT were used to bring Mary Ellen home to her parents Terence and Angela, her two younger brothers John Ross and Karl Joseph and the Molloy and Gillespie families in early January. She was laid to rest in the graveyard adjacent to the Church of the Holy Family, Ardara, on January 2 this year.

Speaking to the Donegal News, John Ross said that it was still very difficult at times to accept that his big sister was no longer with the family.

He explained that some family members and many friends have since reached out to counselling services, which has proven to be invaluable in the healing process.

“Mary Ellen was a psychiatric nurse who was dearly loved by us all and we wanted to do something in her memory,” he said.

The family decided on a walk as it would allow family, friends and the local community to spend time with each other.

“Inspired by her, we wanted this walk to be in memory of all our loved ones who have passed away, called “Walk with M.E.” We are so grateful to have such amazing counselling services, in the Downstrands Family Resource Centre available to help us, we want to help back, by fundraising for them and to raise awareness on mental health, considering Mary Ellen’s career and her belief in counselling, and how this service can help people smile again, this just seems right the right idea to to remember Mary Ellen,” he said.


The “Walk with M.E.” will take place on St Stephen’s Day, December 26, from 12 noon to 5pm at Pearse Memorial Park, Ardara.

“Her friends are also organising a walk out in Melbourne around the same time and with Covid, it’s quite possible that we might organise a walk in a few different locations around the county on that day to comply with social distancing,” he said.

The proceeds from this walk will be divided between The Downstrands Family Resource Centre and The Kevin Bell Foundation.

For more details on the walk or to donate go to

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