Tom Meagher: 'I knew as soon as I saw that man standing in the doorway he’d done something to Jill'
Published 25/04/2014 | 23:34
Tom Meagher bravely told Ryan Tubridy last night how he feared the worst on the night his wife Jill, 29, from Drogheda, Co Louth, was killed in Melbourne.
He said he became frantic with worry when he hadn’t heard from his wife by 2am on the night of September 22, 2012.
Ms Meagher, originally from Drogheda, was walking a short distance home in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick when she was raped and murdered by Adrain Bayley.
The 29-year-old’s body was later dumped in a field outside of the city.
“I knew as soon as I saw that man standing in the doorway he’d done something to her,” Tom told the Late Late Show.
“Jill hasn’t been home since Friday night and there’s this man lurking in a shop hallway. The fact you can see her last moments is horrifying.”
“I was clutching at straws, I was saying is there any chance she’s still alive? Is there any chance she could be kept somewhere? I was just clutching at anything at that stage. And they were saying ‘don’t get your hopes up’.”
“I was panicking the whole time but when it went straight to voicemail that was sheer panic.”
“You have to say the words ‘my wife is missing’. Just to say those words just guts you,” he recalled.
Tom said he fell in love with Jill when they met in UCD, and they later emigrated to Melbourne, Australia to start a new life together.
“Jill fell in love with Melbourne with just the lively atmosphere there,” he said on tonight’s Late Late Show.
He said he couldn’t talk “for ten minutes at least” when he heard how she died.
Tom Meagher is to be the face of a new campaign aimed at ending violence against women.
The White Ribbon Campaign, the world's largest male-led movement, works to change attitudes and behaviours that lead to attacks on women.
Adrian Bailey was found guilty of Jill's murder last year and was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.
Tom has since returned home to Ireland and has been campaigning to highlight violence against women in everyday life by men, in his online blog which has attracted international attention and acclaim.
Last week he said that men need to speak out more against violence towrds women.
“While the vast majority of men abhor violence against women, those dissenting male voices are rarely heard in our public discourse, outside of the monster-rapist narrative,” he said in his blog.
“Jill and I had the great misfortune to encounter someone at the extreme end of the spectrum of violence and evil.
“While very few people will encounter someone at that extreme end, every day around the country however, women are suffering almost casual violence at the hands of men - that's what people need to look out for.”
Speaking on the Late Late Show last night, Tom said he had joined the White Ribbon Campaign to raise the issue of violence against women among the male population.
Latest figures reveal one in five women in Ireland who have been in a relationship have experienced abuse at the hands of a partner.
The Rape Crisis Network's annual report states that 90% of perpetrators were known to the survivor, and 21% of sexual violence against adult females was by partners or ex-partners.
More information about White Ribbon Campaign is available online at www.whiteribbon.ie