Friday 22 September 2017

Nicola Furlong: Murdered student’s boyfriend tells of his pain as her dad heads to Japan

Danny Furlong and his girlfriend Nicola Furlong
Danny Furlong and his girlfriend Nicola Furlong
Nicola Furlong Confirmed
James 'King Tight' Blackston: in custody
Murdered Nicola to be laid to rest in pink coffin
Nicola Furlong: brutal death in Japan after concert
James Blackston
Nicola Furlong
Nicola Furlong
Nicola Furlong
James Blackston
James Blackston
James Blackston

Mark Hilliard

THE distraught boyfriend of Nicola Furlong has spoken of his heartbreak for the first time as her father prepared to fly to Japan to appeal to police for answers.

Danny Furlong (22) told the Irish Independent that Nicola's homecoming next month should have been the "happiest day of our lives".

Instead, the 21-year-old was found dead on the floor of a Tokyo hotel room last month following a night out with a friend at a Nicki Minaj concert.

"I always said that the day she was home would have been the happiest day of both of our lives," said Danny, a promising young footballer, last night, adding that the couple had planned to go on a sun holiday together.

"To be honest it's been by far the worst two weeks of my life. It has turned my whole world upside down."

Danny helped carry Nicola's pink coffin to the church in Wexford for her funeral Mass last Sunday.

Tomorrow, her father Andrew will travel to Japan for four days after being asked by the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.

The family hope that the visit will shed some light on the circumstances surrounding the death of the 21-year-old business and language student.

Two men have been arrested and charged with assault in relation to a separate incident in the run-up to Ms Furlong's mysterious death.

Last night, her boyfriend Danny reflected on how he heard that she had died.

"To me she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and I was so lucky to be with her," he said.

Mr Furlong recalled the last contact he had with her, just hours before her death, saying: "I remember she wrote to me just before she went to Nicki Minaj and she said that she loved me and that when she got back to her apartment she would write to me.

"I didn't sleep at all that night. I just kept checking my phone to see if there was a text from her. The next thing I remember was my door opening and my mam shouting at me. She sat on my bed. I told her to tell me what was wrong.

"For the first few hours I was in bits. I was crying and I had to ring someone. I had to ask was she actually gone.

BEAUTIFUL

"Even about four or five hours later I remember ringing Nicola's mam and I said, 'She isn't actually gone, is she?' She was my whole world -- and it ended."

The young couple met through mutual friends on a night out about three years ago, when Ms Furlong was doing her Leaving Cert.

"She was a bit shy and it took me a while to get talking to her," he said.

Mr Furlong said: "We planned first of all to go on holiday when she got back. One of her best friends was going to Italy in September and we wanted to visit her.

"Her life (plan) was that I was going to be a famous footballer and she would be the 'WAG'," he joked.

"To be honest I haven't even thought about tomorrow. It's tough enough just waking up and the thought of another long day, let alone thinking about the future."

Ms Furlong's father Andrew is due to leave for Tokyo tomorrow with another family member and stay for four days.

During that time he will give a victim-impact statement and attempt to uncover more details surrounding the death of his daughter.

"We are going to write a list of questions that we need answered; I may be wrong but I have a funny feeling that we won't be given many answers," said a family member who is accompanying Mr Furlong.

Mr Furlong is unlikely to visit the Takasaki City University of Economics, where his daughter was studying for the last year or the hotel where she died.

Two Americans, James Blackston (23) and an unnamed 19-year-old musician, have been charged with assaulting a friend of Ms Furlong.

They have so far been held for 12 days and can be held for a further 11 -- following two extensions of detention -- as the investigation continues.

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