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Monday 25 September 2017

Lisa in heaven with mum, says grieving sister

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

THE sister of a young woman strangled to death by her fiance said last night she believes her sibling has been reunited in heaven with their mother.

Angela Doyle revealed how Lisa Doyle's brutal killing came years after she lost her mother to sudden adult death syndrome (SADS). Lisa, her four siblings and dad Laurence were left devastated when Bernadette Doyle died from SADS aged 53.

Gerard O'Hara (32) was jailed for life on Tuesday for murdering Lisa at the couple's home in Leighlinbridge, Co Carlow, on September 20, 2009. He admitted to gardai he strangled her with his own shoelaces and that he got the urge to strangle "once or twice" a year.

Yesterday, Angela revealed the family first learned that O'Hara was pleading guilty on the anniversary of Lisa's death -- just two weeks ago.

And she said she believed Lisa and her mum were now "two angels in heaven" looking down on her.

"They're minding us now and helping us heal," she told the Irish Independent.

"We love our little sister. She means the world to us. We feel blessed we had Lisa and she was part of our lives. She was our gift from God. Our mam and Lisa are guiding us through this terrible time. They were very alike, they were very wonderful people. I know they are helping us through this."

Angela described how her sister was "so amazing in this life".

"All of us are missing Lisa, we miss her every day -- her hug, her smile, her infectious laugh. Just being in her presence would lift your mood."

Impact

Her sister was "full of love and kindness", said Angela.

"I couldn't find anything bad about my sister. She was just so beautiful and amazing. She raised money for charity and never talked about it, she was so good."

Lisa, who was a qualified beauty therapist, helped out at a nursing home where she did hair and make-up to "cheer up" elderly people. Angela, who bravely read a victim impact statement out in court on Tuesday, said her family did not want to talk about her sister's murderer.

"We can't even go there -- we never want to... We just want people to know Lisa was a beautiful person inside.

"We're allowing Lisa to live through us, to allow her life and kindness to shine though us, as vessels for her. We want to keep her memory alive; she was a blessing to us. We love her every day, she has given us so much strength."

Angela said that it was "very difficult" to be in the same room as her sister's killer on Tuesday.

The Doyle family has found reading headlines about Lisa's brutal murder hard to take.

"It's very tough. As a family, we want to mind and protect each other," she said.

Irish Independent

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