Walk planned in honour of Jill Meagher

Thu, Oct 4, 2012, 01:00

A WALK in memory of murdered Irishwoman Jill Meagher will be held in her home town of Drogheda later this month.

It is being organised by former school friends who were inspired by the march in Melbourne where 30,000 people took to the streets to remember her.

Ms Meagher was attacked while walking home from a nearby inner-city Brunswick bar in the early hours of September 22nd, and her body was later found in a shallow grave more than 50km away

“We want her family in Australia as well as her family in Ireland to know they have our support and that we will never forget her,” said Joan Farrell, who met Ms Meagher during their transition year at St Oliver’s Community College in Drogheda.

The 1km route will start at the gates of St Oliver’s and culminate in a symbolic gesture to honour her, possibly by the release of a large number of balloons in a public park on the ramparts beside the river Boyne.

Fellow organiser Shane McQuillan said he remembered Ms Meagher as “always having a smile on her face, I never saw her in a bad mood. I don’t think there was a person in the school who did not get on with her”.

He watched as the news unfolded first about her disappearance and then her murder.

“You feel there is nothing you can do from so far away and all we in Drogheda felt we could do was share her picture,” he said.

He and thousands around the world watched the streets of Melbourne fill last Sunday with people who refused to forget her.

“After that there was a conversation between me and a couple of school friends and we decided why don’t we do something in the town itself because a lot of people have contacted us and been talking about it [the march].”

They are liaising with the local authority and gardaí on details of the walk, expected to take place on Sunday, October 21st.

Among those hoping to attend is former school-mate Elizabeth Wallace who now lives in Florida.

“I will always remember Jill for her cute Australian accent and her infectious laugh. She was such a sweet and kind girl who never passed any judgment on anyone. I was so, so happy to reconnect with her and my other friends from school over Facebook,” she said.

Information will be posted on the Facebook “Walk in honour of Jill Meagher (McKeon)” page.

Separately, details of a memorial tomorrow evening in Drogheda are being finalised by her family.