Surprise surprise! Heartwarming mother-and-daughter Christmas reunion in Coalisland captured on video

A Coalisland woman surprised her children by travelling home early for Christmas from Australia after over a year away.

Bernie Donnelly lives in Melbourne and has been away from home for more than a year.

The grandmother surprised her family by returning home in time for her son Paul’s 21st birthday on Saturday December 14.

Her surprise reunion with her daughter Emma Donnelly (26) on Friday evening was recorded on video.

In the heartwarming video Emma is seen warmly embracing her mother after realising she has returned home.

Emma’s four-year-old son Padraic is heard saying “look who’s behind you” before Emma sees her mother for the first time in months.

The video clip was captured by family friend Colleen Skeffington, also from Coalisland.

The 25-year-old said:

“I was aware of Bernie coming home and wanted to be there to see Emma’s reaction.

“It was brilliant. Her heart was still racing for a while afterwards.”

Two of Bernie’s four children, sons Keelen (24) and Darren (28), also live in Australia.

Her other children Emma and Paul live in Coalisland but managed to reunite with their family in October for Darren’s wedding in Sydney.

Emma and Paul knew their mother was coming home but thought she wasn’t due back until December 21.

Describing their reaction, Ms Skeffington said they were “happily surprised to see her home”.

Bernie is due to return to Australia in about a month’s time.

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