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Saturday 23 September 2017

Michaela comes home for last time

Slain schoolgirl's distraught family prepare to say goodbye

Edel Kennedy

SHE adored pop music and spent hours with her friends listening to her favourite bands.

And yesterday, before the body of slain schoolgirl Michaela Davis returned home for the last time, her family picked out the music to be played at her funeral tomorrow.

A huge fan of popband JLS, her parents gave her CD to the Very Reverend John Daly in preparation for her final farewell.

The body of the 12-year-old, who had been raped and killed, was released yesterday evening to her distraught family.

Earlier in the afternoon, a number of gardai patrolled the small estate in Porterstown, Co Dublin, where she lived all her short life. It was the last place she was seen -- and her body was found just a few hundred metres away on Saturday.

Gardai also carried out some further examinations in a nearby field which had earlier been sealed off as part of the murder investigation.

But everybody's minds were far from the garda probe.

In the afternoon, neighbours brought sandwiches and snacks to the semi-detached house. Others brought flowers.

One card read: "Michaela, I met you a few times in our house in the company of your friends. You were a lovely girl. I'm sorry this tragedy came to you and your family. Rest in peace and God bless you, your brother and parents."



Comforting

At 2.30pm, Rev Daly, who had taken part in Michaela's confirmation just three months ago, arrived to begin the funeral preparations with her parents, Deirdre and Brendan.

He spent an hour comforting them, and their only son Brendan (16), before leaving an hour later with the JLS CD.

Her body was due to arrive home at 5pm -- but at 6.30pm a garda escort drove into the leafy estate, followed by the hearse.

Her body had been encased in a small white coffin and neighbours and friends -- who were standing outside their front gates -- blessed themselves as it passed by.

Loving hands took her from the hearse and her parents and grandparents stood by and clutched each other.

Several family members and friends broke down in tears as she was carried into her home.

Throughout the evening, neighbours, friends and teachers called to the home to offer their sympathies, to say whatever words of comfort they could.

Tributes continued to pour into Facebook pages set up in her memory.

"Rest in peace Michaela," said Bernadette Bushe.

Helen O'Brien Boutabba wrote: "These people have lost a precious child . . . it is a pain that never goes away and the questions are always in your mind what sort of a person would she turn out to be? I pray for you all and hope that you are allowed to celebrate your daughter's life. God bless you all."

Earlier this week, Jonathan Byrne (18), of Lohunda Downs, Clonsilla, Co Dublin, was charged with her murder.

The family's home in The Village in Porterstown is open to mourners today -- with burial at nearby St Mochta's Church at midday tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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