Saturday 24 March 2018

‘I’m trying to stay composed for Andrea’, says Nicola's dad

Grainne Cunningham

Nicola Furlong’s father has admitted he will take the chilling images of his drugged daughter's last moments with him to his grave.

Andrew Furlong said it was “stomach-churning” watching the tape of his semi-conscious daughter and her friend in the back of a Tokyo taxi, as her alleged killer Richard Hinds (pictured) and another musician spoke crudely of having sex with them.

“It was the last live pictures that we’ll ever see of Nicola. This was a couple of hours before she died,” he said.

“To see it and to hear what was being said was stomach-churning because it’s your baby that’s in that taxi. To hear what was being said by the accused, it wasn’t easy. We’ll take it to our grave.”

Nicola’s mother Angie said: “He's sitting directly in front of me and I can see him at all times and I am finding some relief looking at him. I'm releasing all my pain when I'm looking at him and I'm saying that you can take that on board.”

Speaking to RTE, the family said that after “first-day nerves”, they were feeling upbeat. Clutching a photo of her sister as she entered the courtroom, Andrea said it was important to be there for Nicola as the family did not want any regrets.

“She'd be here for me if it was the opposite way around,” she said.

The US musician, Mr Hinds  has denied strangling the  Irish student to death with a towel.

Andrew told ‘The Tubridy Show’ that he was trying to stay composed for Andrea.

“Everyone tells me I’m strong and this and that and the other. I’m holding it together for my other baby Andrea. Every time she sits into the car or goes away, you’re wondering if she will ever come back.

“I know it’s every parent’s nightmare but it brings it home when it happens to one. There will always be that worry now because I only have one left. She’s all I have left now at this stage. I plan on holding on to her for another while. The angels are not taking her as quick as they took Nicola I hope.”

The family expect to be in court for another week and to hear the verdict on March 19.

The Wexford dad said he is has so many good memories of his pretty 21-year-old daughter.

“There were so many good times. I’d say I have the last 10 Christmases taped on a camcorder. Memories like that are keeping me going,” he said.

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