Jill Meagher remembered at march in Melbourne
Thousands of people on streets to mark one year anniversary of murder of Co Louth woman
Thousands of people in Melbourne have marched on the street where Irish woman Jill Meagher was abducted a year ago.
Ms Meagher (29), who was originally from Co Louth, was raped and killed after walking along Sydney Road in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick on September 22nd last year.
Adrian Bayley (42) has been sentenced to life in prison for the crimes. He failed in a bid last week to have his 35-year non-parole period reduced.
Philip Werner, an artist whose Facebook post last year led to 30,000 people marching to honour Ms Meagher and other victims, welcomed the fact that thousands marched again today to honour victims of violence.
“I’ve called it a peace march and I believe people are here because they want to express the opposite sentiment to the things that led to the murder,” he said.
Victoria’s premier Denis Napthine was one of those marching today. He said it is important people continue to speak out.
Video: March for Jill Meagher in Melbourne
“We’re all devastated and affected by the tragic murder of Jill Meagher, and our hearts go out to her husband Tom and her family,” he said.
“I think there was a spontaneous feeling right across Melbourne and Victoria that we need to take a stand ... against violence against women and violence in our society.”
The murder of Ms Meagher as she walked home from a night out with work colleagues last year resulted in major changes to Victoria’s parole laws.
Ms Meagher’s husband, Tom has said the legal aid funding which paid for Bayley’s bid was a waste of money.
“What a waste of public money that was,” Mr Meagher wrote on Facebook.
“When I had my meeting with the [Victorian]parole board, they complained of receiving only $2.5 million annually, compared to $14 million a year for the New South Wales parole board.
“Funding that should be channelled into fixing this system is wasted on [Bayley’s]legal aid, for an appeal that everybody knew would not stick,” he wrote.
Dr Napthine said Victoria now has the toughest parole laws in Australia and the state government would take stronger action “to ensure parole is a privilege, not a right”.
“We, as a government, are strong on law and order and want our community to be a safer place,” he said.