She lived her life to the full, say devastated parents
THE parents of Mairead Moran have been left "devastated" by the death of their youngest daughter.
Speaking to the Irish Independent last night, Peter and Margo Moran said they were still waiting for answers following the horrific killing.
"We haven't been informed as to the reason why she was attacked, but that's neither here nor there. I'm not going to expand on it," said Mr Moran.
Her mother said: "Mairead hadn't said to us she felt in danger. She was very happy in herself and wasn't worried.
"This has come as a major shock to the whole family. She was just working, doing her job. It's the last thing we expected."
Mr Moran paid tribute to his youngest daughter, saying: "She was a great girl. She has two older sisters, Colette (34) and Michelle (31).
"She didn't have any plans to travel because she was happy where she worked in Holland & Barrett."
He said Mairead had just been told she would be made manager of a new store and was due to start in July.
"Everything was great and it was her ambition to become a manager," he said.
Her mother spoke of Mairead's "great love" of nature and said she had studied complementary therapy in Waterford a few years ago.
"That led her to work in Holland & Barrett, where she really enjoyed what she was doing. As a child, she always had a great interest in nature and natural things.
"Mairead had recently completed special management training with Holland & Barrett for her new job. They are a good company to work for and she was very happy there.
"She just loved everything about nature and animals – that was just her way. She loved living her life. She was very happy with her job and was looking forward to building her career with the company. That's what she was focused on.
"She was extremely sociable and a gang of her friends turned up at the hospital last night. They just appeared in groups. She had a great band of friends, they loved her.
"We don't know an awful lot of what happened, but she would have been working until 9pm and it happened around half-an-hour before that. We're not sure."
Mairead adored her native Kilmaganny village and Kilkenny city, where she worked.
In the south Kilkenny village, there was a steady stream of locals calling to express their support and sympathy, both at the Moran home and at the shop that the family have run on the main street for decades.
In Kilmaganny parish church, friends and neighbours quietly lit candles.
Fr Nicholas Flavin said the community was rallying around to support the Moran family.
"It is a very difficult time for any family but particularly so because of the loss of such a loved and kind-hearted daughter and sister," he said.
In Kilkenny city, several friends stood weeping outside the shopping centre's side entrance as garda technical experts continued their painstaking work inside.
What makes the crime all the more upsetting is that many know the young man arrested by gardai.
Tributes poured in via social networking sites last night.Heartbroken friends remembered her as a "kind, forgiving, understanding, incredibly non-judgmental, loved by everyone."
"A great life was extinguished last night. Mairead was a truly amazing person who will be missed by many, many people who loved her," one friend wrote.
"It is a horrific shock and a real tragedy. She will always be remembered as the kind, caring person she was," another friend remarked.