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Thursday 19 April 2018

Only God can judge Deirdre's killer, says mother

Barry Duggan

Deirdre McCarthy: body found on beach

THE mother of Deirdre McCarthy, whose body was washed up on a beach last week, has revealed she is not looking to blame or judge anyone for her daughter's violent death.

Ahead of today's funeral of the 43-year-old in Ballyvaughan, Co Clare, parish priest Fr Richard Flanagan said her grieving family and mother, Helen, had shown "a great sense of dignity and fortitude".

As the garda investigation into her death continues, hundreds of people are expected to congregate today at St John the Baptist Church in the village for Ms McCarthy's funeral.

The chief suspect for the violent death, who is also from Ballyvaughan, remained in University Hospital Galway yesterday after suffering self-inflicted wounds, including a stabbing to the stomach, last Friday night.

He was in a "stable condition" but is unlikely to be available to gardai for questioning over the death before his expected release from hospital later this week.

Ms McCarthy's body was found washed up at Fanore beach, Co Clare, last Thursday -- three days after she was reported missing from her home. She was last seen alive the previous Sunday at around 11.30pm following a night socialising in a local pub. While the full findings of a post-mortem have not been released, investigating officers said she died violently.

Friends and neighbours of Deirdre gathered at the home of her sister, Christina, last night to offer their condolences to her family. Fr Flanagan met with and consoled her family, including her mother, Helen, before last night's removal.

"Helen summed it all up in a couple of words. The first thing she said to me was: 'I am a woman who has made mistakes and I am not here to point any fingers or judge -- there is a man upstairs for that and we will leave it to him. What we want to do now is unite the community again.'

"That is a wonderful sentiment and I suppose I was taken aback and strengthened by it as well. For a woman (Helen) who has gone through all this, there is a great sense of peace. The priority for the family at the moment is to give her (Deirdre) a dignified send-off."

The parish priest met Deirdre soon after arriving in Ballyvaughan at the end of last year to take up his new position.

"I met her on a couple of occasions. Recently there she came up to me when I was out one night and wished me well," the priest recalled.

"That is the type she was -- a very easy-going person. The whole family are like that -- very friendly and very well known in the community."

Irish Independent

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