Thursday 19 April 2018

Mother's sadness: My life stopped on September 22, 2012

Jill Meagher's mother Edith McKeon spoke of how her family, including her tragic daughter, had "thrived" after moving to Australia to begin a new life.

In her victim impact statement, read to the court on her behalf, she said: "I made a choice with my husband, not out of necessity, to come to Australia in 1990 as a family unit.

"Jillian was seven and her brother, Michael, was four. They thrived on life in this wonderful country that we choose to call home."

She said the family had returned to Ireland where Jill met her future husband, Tom Meagher, at the age of 19.

"They married and chose Melbourne for the lifestyle, jobs and the future plans that have now been destroyed."

Describing her daughter she said: "Jillian loved life and everything it had to offer and was keen to embrace her surroundings and very open to the world and its culture.

"She was funny, intelligent and had huge empathy for others. She was my only daughter and I have been robbed of so many precious things we would have shared. My life stopped on September 22, 2012."

Ms McKeon, pictured, said she has been suffering from insomnia and panic attacks since Jill's murder, adding: "I have nightmares of the terror she would have gone through that night. I can never forget what was done to her – I come across ordinary young couples or young families and they are so happy and normal. It's what Jillian and Tom should have had.

"So it's like so many stab wounds and reminders of the life we would have shared with them, that has been so cruelly taken away."

Speaking of the impact on her family, Ms McKeon said: "My personal relationship with my husband and son has changed, as we are all dealing with Jillian's murder and the loss of her in different ways.

"We came here as a family of four and we were very close. Jillian has been torn from all our hearts and the link that held us together has been shattered."

Her statement concluded: "I have been given a life sentence."

Irish Independent

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