There was sadness in Dunlgoe and the Rosses this week at the death of a 12-year-old girl from the area who was suffering a long-term illness.
Catriona Melly passed away in London this week after her battle with an immune system disorder.
She was diagnosed with immunodeficiency when she was just one which led to her having a bone marrow transplant. She struggled with additional medical problems as a result of the transplant and required daily intravenous medicine and the use of a wheelchair.
Catriona grew up in London, but she had strong links with Donegal through her parents
Patrick and Carol. Her Requiem Mass will take place tomorrow, Friday at Crona’s Church, Dungloe.
Just last month Catriona was granted her wish by children’s charity Starlight Children’s Foundation when she was driven in a limousine to met two snow white Shetland Ponies called Tripe and Onions.
During the day Catriona and her family had lunch with the ponies’ owner Anne Radcliffe, who gave the little girl a selection of Pony related gifts, including a hat and t-shirt emblazoned with a picture of her new friends.
The experience ended with the 12-year-old and her brother Callum, aged 13, going for a ride on a cart pulled by the animals.
Catriona’s mum Carol Melly said: “Tripe and Onions were the most beautiful placid, sweet little ponies and Catriona just loved them. She had a great day and was so excited. The ladies had washed and brushed the ponies for us so they were very soft and Catriona spent a lot of time just stroking them.”
She added that her daughter’s love for ponies stems from reading John Flanagan’s Rangers Apprentice books and that her only other wish is to meet another child like herself because she does not believe somebody else could have the same condition.
Local councillor David Alcorn said there was great sadness in the area at Catriona’s death. “Her family are well-know in the area - she has connections to the Rosses, Dungloe and Leitmacaward. I just want to express my heartfelt sympathy to her family circle.”