Jill Meagher funeral service held
There are “no words which can begin to capture the overwhelming grief and loss” the family of Jill Meagher must be feeling present, Cardinal Seán Brady said tonight.
Speaking at a memorial service in St Peter’s Church in Drogheda, he said Ms Meagher had represented “the hope of a new generation of Irish people” prior to her murder in Australia.
“[These people] despite being far from their homeland, were making a future for themselves abroad,” he said.
The Cardinal said the special bond between Ireland and Australia has been evident since Ms Meagher’s disappearance.
“Jill and her husband Tom were just starting their married life together in Australia, enjoying what a country like Australia offers to people and following in the footsteps of so many Irish people who have made Australia their home,” he added.
“For Jill and her husband Tom, that hope and their dreams came to a sudden and devastating end on September 22nd.”
Fr Oliver Devine, who married the couple, said Ms Meagher would be remembered as a thinker, a composer of poetry, someone who wanted to make a difference.
Earlier today, family and friends of murdered Ms Meagher said an emotional goodbye at her funeral in Melbourne.
The 29-year-old from Drogheda, Co Louth, was killed after a night out in the city nearly two weeks ago.
Her family and a small group of friends attended a private service at Fawkner Memorial Park in Melbourne.
Her husband Thomas Meagher said his wife was happiest when she was making others laugh. “I couldn’t ask for more loyalty, happiness and fun,” he said. “Goodbye my beautiful, funny girl. I’ll love you forever.”
White ribbon wristbands were given to mourners to signify the fight to prevent violence against women and 29 white doves were released at the end of the service, one for each year of Mrs Meagher’s life.
Her father George McKeon fought back tears as he read a card he and his wife Edith sent to their daughter in 2004, in which they told her how much they missed her, her laughter, energy and smile.
“It hard to be apart from you,” he read. “So many of my thoughts are of you. Each night when the world is quiet and still, your smile and the wonderful moments we have shared crowd my mind. Then I find myself missing you even more.
“Each day as I go about my routine, you slip gently into my thoughts and make me smile. I wonder what you are doing, trust that everything is going well and hope that you miss me too,” Mr McKeon said.
Ms Meagher’s mother, Edith McKeon, said her daughter had great empathy.
“She was a determined person who achieved everything she put her mind to, but she was a messy creature and was as clumsy as hell, but she had style,” said Ms McKeon.
“She loved to party, enjoyed and shared the craic. She was so precious to us and we loved her so much. The light she brought to our lives almost 30 years ago will shine on us forever. Smile when you think of her.”
Mrs Meagher vanished after a night out with colleagues from ABC almost two weeks ago, and her body was found in a shallow grave last Friday. A 41-year-old man has been charged with her rape and murder.
Last weekend some 30,000 people marched in her memory in the north inner suburb of Brunswick, where Mrs Meagher lived.