Murdered Polish mum had split up with partner
Published 05/03/2011 | 05:00
THE family of a murdered Polish woman has insisted she was no longer in a relationship with the man suspected of her killing.
In a remarkable gesture of compassion and generosity, the family of Katarzyna Bartkowiak said they understood this was also a difficult time for Stephen Godsun Ukiwo's family.
In a statement released yesterday, they said their main focus now was on the future of the couple's son, Sean.
Katarzyna Bartkowiak (24) was found murdered at her rented home in the Deerpark Estate on the outskirts of Tralee, Co Kerry last Tuesday. It is thought she had been strangled.
A search continues off the Kerry coast for the remains of her ex-partner, west-African Stephen Godsun Ukiwo, who jumped from the cliffs at Ballybunion later that night.
Ms Bartkowiak's brother Tomasz and her aunt Elena, who had visited her niece in Tralee recently, travelled to Ireland from Poznan on Wednesday to make arrangements.
Her remains are to be repatriated to Poland, following a private ceremony for friends in Tralee.
The family said they were "greatly shocked" at the news of the death of the young woman, known as Kasia to her friends and family.
"Kasia was greatly loved and her passing is a great loss to our family and to all her friends, especially to her young son whom she loved dearly," the statement said.
"Kasia was an amazing person and a wonderful mum; she had so much potential in her life. Words cannot explain how we feel at this time, we are greatly saddened by the circumstances of her death and are in disbelief at what happened.
"We wish also to extend our condolences to the family of Stephen. Our main focus now is to ensure Kasia's son is taken care of and he will be provided with a loving, caring future."
The family has appealed for privacy and has asked the media to stay away from the service in Tralee. "Kasia loved Ireland and Tralee was her home , where she was always saying she wanted to live for the rest of her life," her family said.
"We would like to thank the friends of Kasia for their support and their kind words.
"We want to extend our many thanks also to the gardai, HSE, emergency services, and all those who are helping us with everything at this difficult time," the statement concluded.
On the day of the deaths, Mr Ukiwo was due to have presented himself by appointment at the headquarters of the garda national immigration bureau in Dublin in connection with a deportation warrant, which had been signed by the minister for justice last November.