Sunday 26 January 2020

Nora Quoirin's parents demand answers as mysteries remain over Malaysia death

Nora Quoirin (family handout/PA)
Nora Quoirin (family handout/PA)

Ryan Hooper

The parents of Nora Quoirin, the teenager found dead after 10 days missing in the Malaysian jungle while on a family holiday, have demanded answers from officials after it was ruled an inquest would not be held into her death.

The 15-year-old's Irish-French parents, Meabh and Sebastien Quoirin have been pleading for answers ever since her body was discovered 2.5km from a holiday resort where the family had been staying in Dusun in August last year.

Inquests in the UK are routinely held if the cause of death is found to be from something other than natural causes.

However, Malaysian authorities classified Nora's death as "no further action" (NFA), according to charity the Lucie Blackman Trust, which is supporting the London teenager's family.

Nóra Quoirin and her mother Meabh. Photo: AFP/Getty
Nóra Quoirin and her mother Meabh. Photo: AFP/Getty

The Quoirins said they were "shocked" by the decision, particularly considering there remained many unanswered questions around how the vulnerable teenager - born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly - came to leave her room and venture into the jungle, and whether she was alone at the time.

In a statement, Nora's parents said: "We cannot believe, nor understand why, any modern economy would label such a harrowing and mysterious case NFA without full process and the total refusal to communicate with us is both insulting and unfathomable."

The Quoirins said an initial post-mortem examination found Nora died from gastro-intestinal bleeding and an ulcer, likely brought on by starvation and/or stress, but that the full findings had yet to be presented.

They said: "The AGC's (Malaysian Attorney General's Chambers) decision prevents justice being done.

"As we have stressed from the beginning of this case, it is crucial to understand how Nora came to be found where she was.

"As a vulnerable child, with significant physical and mental challenges, we strongly refute any conclusion that Nora was alone for the entire duration of her disappearance.

The Order of Service for the funeral mass of Nora Quoirin at St Brigid's Church, Belfast. Liam McBurney/PA Wire
The Order of Service for the funeral mass of Nora Quoirin at St Brigid's Church, Belfast. Liam McBurney/PA Wire

"We have repeatedly asked the police to clarify answers to our questions in this regard - and we have been repeatedly ignored.

"This stands in stark contrast with the promise of transparency that we received from the deputy prime minister and other prominent officials whom we met in Malaysia."

Matt Searle, chief executive of the Lucie Blackman Trust, accused Malaysian authorities of "effectively closing down" the case.

He said: "The idea that Nora went off, on her own, seems incredibly unlikely.

"This family need answers and at least deserve an investigation to the greatest lengths available.

"We are urgently seeking answers from various authorities - Nora's death needs to be explained."

Nora's family last month asked the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs for assistance in their quest for answers over the teenager's death.

A spokesman said: "The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to provide ongoing consular assistance in this case.

"In line with department policy, we will not be commenting further."

Her funeral service was held at St Brigid's church in south Belfast in September, the church where she was baptised.

PA Media

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