'It is all the more difficult for us to grasp as she had no involvement with Shane Smyth since 2005' - Mairead's family
Mairéad's family remember 'strong beautiful' daughter
The heartbroken family of the late Mairéad Moran has remembered her as a beautiful, strong and independent woman.
The family issued a statement following the trial of Shane Smyth, who was found not guilty of Ms Moran's murder by reason of insanity. Ms Moran (26) was stabbed to death at the shop where she worked at the Market Cross Shopping Centre in Kilkenny on May 8, 2014.
The Moran family said their daughter was dearly loved: "In Mairéad's belongings when we took them home after her death was a card she had kept which read: 'Mairéad, follow your dreams, keep safe and always remember how precious you are to us. Love Mam & Dad'," the statement said.
"She was loved beyond words by all our family, especially her sisters Colette and Michelle and by the many others she welcomed into her life. She was a beautiful, strong and independent woman, happy and smiling with a great attitude to life."
Before her death, Ms Moran had been excited by an offer from her employers at Holland & Barrett to manage its new store.
"It has been heart-breaking over the last week to hear the full details of Mairéad's death. It is all the more difficult for us to grasp as she had absolutely no involvement with Shane Smyth since 2005, more than eight years earlier," said her family.
"Our only consolation is the knowledge that a number of wonderful people came to Mairéad's aid, holding and comforting her, ensuring she wasn't alone. We will always remember them. We want to thank the gardaí and everyone involved in bringing this case to a conclusion.
"Mairéad's death has left a huge gap in our lives. Since May 2014 we have concentrated on taking care of one another and keeping ourselves strong while we try to come to terms with living without her. We are surrounded by kindness and help from our family, friends and our local community in Kilmoganny who give us the support and the space we need."
The Moran family said they "know that the Smyth family share in our distress at what has happened".
"Mairéad, with her ability to just get on with her life, is an inspiration to us all. She was and will always be precious to us and she knew it. We had years to add new memories but we can only cherish the ones we have of her 26 years."