Thursday 18 December 2014

Father of murdered student Nicola Furlong 'disgusted' by Paddy Power advertisement

Published 04/03/2014 | 15:32

Murdered student Nicola Furlong. Inset: The Paddy Power promotional poster for betting on the Oscar Pistorius murder trial
The controversial Paddy Power advertisement
The late Nicola Furlong
Andrew, Andrea and Angela Furlong, family of murdered Nicola Furlong, arriving home from Japan following the trial last year. Picture: Arthur Carron/Collins

The father of murdered student Nicola Furlong has described a bet offered by Paddy Power on the Oscar Pistorius trial as “despicable” and “an utter disgrace”.

Andrew Furlong’s daughter Nicola , from Curracloe in Wexford, was strangled to death by US musician Richard Hinds at the Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo on May 24, 2012.

In two weeks time, on March 19, the family will endure the first anniversary of when Mr Hinds was found guilty of Nicola’s murder, and he was sentenced to 5-10 years in jail with labour.

Today on RTE’s Liveline, Mr Furlong said Paddy’s Power’s bet has “opened up a can of worms” for himself and his family, and he feels bitter about it.

“If he had done the same thing when I was out in Japan in Nicola’s court case, he’d have been the first person I’d see when I come home.”

“They shouldn’t be taking bets from anyone. This is after bringing up a whole can of worms with me and my family.”

“It’s an utter disgrace for the sake of making a few pound... There are other things to make money on. Do they have to lower themselves down to this level?”

“I couldn’t believe the audacity of the man,” he told Joe Duffy yesterday.

Mr Furlong said the betting advertisements reflect badly on our country and the treatment of the Oscar Pistorius trial.

“Imagine what [the South Africans] are saying about us.”

“They [Reeva Steenkamp’s family] have family. They’re going through what an awful lot of other people go through.”

“When I heard [about the bet] yesterday, I was getting more bitter.”

Mr Furlong told Joe Duffy that the loss of Nicola has not gotten easier with the passing of time.

“It never got any better. You’re just walking around in a daze, thinking of her 24/7. When she was alive, you knew that she was going to come home; you knew that she’d be here.”

He described the bet as “despicable”.

“If there’s 100 people going to bet on it, why would you do it in the first place? It’s a novelty bet just so they can get their names in the papers.”

“Who the hell in their right mind would want to bet on something like that in the first place?”

“If one of his (Paddy Power’s) family was after being murdered, would he be doing it? It hasn’t happened to him. But there are families in this country that it has happened to.”

Meanwhile broadcaster Duffy revealed that he’d “gotten in trouble” over revealing his own feelings on the issue.

“I shouldn’t be saying this and I got in trouble for saying it yesterday, but I will say it again because I think it’s despicable,” he said.

The Liveline host grilled Paddy Power on the issue yesterday. Mr Power defended the bet.

“It’s to provide customers with the opportunity to bet on something that everyone is talking to,” Mr Power said.

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