Sharon Commins will be reunited with her family at Casement Airport in Baldonnel tonight after being held captive for 107 days in Darfur.

The Government jet carrying the freed aid worker left the Sudanese capital of Khartoum earlier today en route to Ireland.

The jet is expected at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel, at 11.50pm, and the GOAL worker will be reunited with her family there.

Ms Commins, from Clontarf in Dublin, and her Ugandan colleague Hilda Kawuki were abducted by an armed gang in Darfur last July. They were freed at the weekend after four months in captivity.

She said both she and Ms Kawuki lived in constant fear of being shot but kept each other strong during their captivity.

She said: ‘You could die in there of sadness, you could just die if you didn't lift your spirits. It was just incredibly sad every morning. Such a heavy burden to continue.

‘We definitely needed each other and we prayed together and tried to keep each other strong.’

Ms Commins said the women were petrified the night three armed men burst into their compound, held guns to their heads and ordered them into the back of a van.

Up to 18 armed men then held them captive.

‘There were mock assassinations on a few occasions so it was extremely scary and we were always anxious and stressed and upset until the minute we got out,’ said Ms Commins.

‘We'd be told to kneel on our knees and they would shoot around us.

‘Obviously, the first time that happened we thought we were actually going to be shot and each time we think, OK, I hope it's a mock, but you do never know.

‘It was an extremely dangerous situation to be in.’

Ms Commins told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that they lived in difficult conditions and were held on four different mountain ranges where they were exposed to the elements.

They sheltered from the sun under two blankets, which they also used at night to cover them.

They were given two meals a day, had very little water and could wash themselves only every two weeks.

The aid worker said they still feared the armed gang, who wanted a ransom, despite being encouraged that there were being kept alive.

‘The flip side of that coin is that they were getting increasingly frustrated that they were paying money to feed us and they were getting more frustrated by the day,’ she said.

‘We were still happy to be alive but extremely fearful. We were never confident that we would be kept alive. The fear of being shot was a constant threat.’

Ms Commins said they initially did not believe they were being released as they had been given false hope so many times before.

‘The moment I knew I was free was when I got into a familiar car and there was no gun and people said "Welcome home. You girls did well"', she said.

‘The road we were on was still dangerous and we were still not out of harm's way until we got to the safe house and then there was a moment of joy. Then we talked to our families.

‘It took a few minutes to sink in. It took us a while to get our heads around.'

She thanked the public for all the support given to her and her family in Clontarf, said she is relieved to be coming home and spending time with her family and friends.

‘I'm definitely not going to work until well after Christmas,’ she said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said no ransom was paid for their release.

News of the safe release of the 33-year-old Dubliner and Ms Kawuki reached Ireland early on Sunday morning.

They are both reported to be in good health, but have lost some weight during the ordeal.

The Commins family also thanked people in Ireland and praised those involved in securing the release.