Tuesday 16 July 2019

Cold case: Daughters of woman murdered after attending 1987 Slane gig believe her killer knew her

  • Antoinette Smith disappeared 32 years ago
  • Her daughters believe it was a 'well-planned attack'
Antoinette's two daughters, Lisa and Rachel in attendance at media briefing. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Antoinette's two daughters, Lisa and Rachel in attendance at media briefing. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Cate McCurry

THE daughters of a young mother murdered after attending a concert in Co Meath believe her killer was known to her and it was a "well-planned attack".

Marking 32 years since Antoinette Smith disappeared, her daughters Rachel and Lisa Smith issued another plea for information.

Ms Smith was 27 when she vanished after a David Bowie concert in Slane in 1987. She was last seen on O'Connell Street in Dublin.

Her body was found almost a year later in a drain on Glendoo Mountain in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.

Rachel, who was four when her mother disappeared, has vowed to keep fighting for justice and says the family need a breakthrough.

Speaking at Bray garda station, she said: "There is someone one out there responsible for this horrific and horrible crime.

Antoinette's two daughters, Lisa and Rachel in attendance at media briefing. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Antoinette's two daughters, Lisa and Rachel in attendance at media briefing. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

"Relationships break down, someone has to know something.

"Someone is holding on to information and we want them to come forward so we can put this behind us and let her rest in peace.

"We are getting older and our dad is getting older and he wants justice.

"Anyone holding information is just as guilty as the person responsible.

"We need something, even small, to bring the links together."

Rachel said she believes the person who murdered her mother was known to her.

"We don't know who it is, it could be a family member, it could be a close friend," she added.

"Things could have escalated on a night out and this person has left two young kids to grow up without a mother."

Lisa was seven when she learned of her mother's death.

She believes the culprit left her mother's body in an isolated area with the intention she would never be found.

"We do know that it was probably a well-planned attack given the basis of the case," she added.

The sisters said it was tough visiting the spot where their mother's body was discovered.

"You wouldn't leave a dog where she was found," Rachel said.

Lisa described the difficulties in growing up without their mother.

"She has missed all the milestones, going to school, confirmation, joining a drama club or football club or winning a trophy, all the things you want your mam for," she added.

"I was very aware when I saw my friends with their parents, my mam wasn't there. It was hard.

"My mam was the typical fun-loving young mum. She was into fashion and music and we've both got that from her, we're both into music.

"We live through the stories others have of her. Friends tell us that we are just like her and that's great for us as we don't have that many memories.

"The 'what ifs' are the hardest. It was very traumatic growing up without her.

"It's a big part of who we are as people. We want justice so she can rest in peace.

"She was not only our mam, she was a sister, an aunt and a friend. She has missed out on so much.

"While the culprit is out there, she can't rest in peace."

Rachel said they have tried not to let their mother's murder take over their lives.

"We still have a life to live and our mam wouldn't want us to put our lives on hold," she added.

"It's been tough on dad. He finds it very hard to speak out about. He does suffer from it and he wants justice as much as we do.

"He had to rear us and tell us that our mam wasn't coming back."

Detective Inspector Sorcha Fitzpatrick, who is leading the investigation into the murder, appealed for information.

She said: "We are here to actively seek anybody's information and request them to come forward.

"Circumstances change over the years and someone who may have been prevented at the time from coming to us with information in relation to Antoinette's murder, we are appealing to them to come forward and contact the investigation teams."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bray garda station on 01 666 5300, the garda confidential line 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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