‘It is very hard for us’: Husband of Urantsetseg Tserendorj thankful for support from Irish people

Anniversary Mass for Mongolian woman fatally stabbed in Dublin takes place on Sunday

An anniversary Mass will take place on Sunday to remember Urantsetseg Tserendorj who was fatally stabbed in Dublin last year.

Ms Tserendorj (48), a mother of two, was attacked outside the CHQ building on Custom House Quay on January 20th, 2021. The Mongolian national was returning home after a shift working as a cleaner.

A 15-year-old boy, who cannot be named as he is a minor, has been charged with her murder and is due to face trial at the Central Criminal Court later this year.

Ms Tserendorj's husband, Ulambayar Surenkho, said his wife was a Buddhist but there are no temples in Ireland for them to hold a religious service in.


He told The Irish Times that he was devastated by the recent death of Ashling Murphy and her murder had brought back harrowing memories of what happened to his wife.

Mr Surenkho left an online message of condolence for the Murphy family.

“When I heard about Ashling’s death it was so difficult for me. She was just out running,” he said.

Bad memories

Since his wife’s death, he and his 17-year-old daughter, Suvd, who is studying for the Leaving Certificate, have moved out of the Talbot Street area where they lived because of the bad memories and now live in an apartment in Dublin 8.

Mr Surenkho was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from all over Ireland after Ms Tserendorj’s death.

“We got so many cards, messages and emails,” he said.

The family moved to Ireland in 2006 in search of a better life.

“We love Ireland so much, they are a very friendly people and the weather is nice,” he said. “We have been living here a long time and we know what Irish people are like. People sent money after my wife died. When they didn’t have my address, they sent money to the gardaí to pass on to me.”

Mr Surenkho is hopeful Dublin City Council will be able to find a home for him and his daughter. Currently, he pays €1,800 a month in rent though he only works part-time in a hotel.

“It is very hard for us. My daughter and I share a room. We should have separate rooms,” he said.

The couple's son, Tamir, is aged 26 and lives in Mongolia. He finished secondary school in Larkin College.

One of Mass organisers, Gonchigkhand Byambaa, said her friend Ms Tserendorj had been a very important person in the 2,000 strong Mongolian community in Ireland.

‘Always smiling’

Ms Tserendorj had qualified as a PE instructor in Mongolia and had been an organiser of Mongolian volleyball in Ireland.

“She was always smiling. She was one of the kindest human beings in our community. She always wanted to help those who were struggling or who could speak English. She always spoke very humbly.”

Ms Byambaa said she was so shocked by her friend's death that she sought professional help, as did many within the community.

Many Irish people contributed to a fund which helped to raise more than €37,000 for her family after the murder.

“She came here for a better life. Ireland has been very good to the Mongolian community. We never got a bad reputation here,” she said. “The cultures and food are very similar. More Mongolians want to come here because the economy is suffering really badly because of Covid-19.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times