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30,000 march for Jill

A SHRINE to Jill Meagher in Melbourne was dismantled today because the tribute was so big it was causing an obstruction.

The decision was taken following a weekend march for the murdered Irishwoman which was attended by 30,000 people -- including her devastated mother.

Since Jill was reported missing by her distraught husband Tom Meagher, from Cabinteely, in Dublin, last Saturday week, the horrific case has gripped the public in both Ireland and Australia.

While the details have not yet been finalised, it is expected Jill will be laid to rest in Melbourne on Friday.

Her grieving uncle Michael McKeon told the Herald today he is living day to day at the moment. Mr McKeon, who lives in Drogheda, said: "I'm struggling along, that's all I can say -- struggling along, day to day."







Family

In a statement, police in the Australian state of Victoria said: "Due to the overwhelming number of floral tributes placed in memory of Jill on Sydney Road, Brunswick it has been necessary to move them to avoid them obstructing the local area.

"Police have consulted with the family and moved them to a location of their choice. They have not been destroyed and all the cards have been collected and provided to Jill's family."

The shrine had developed outside the Duchess Boutique in Brunswick where Jill was last seen on CCTV footage.

Jill's mother, Edith, spoke outside the shop yesterday. Mrs McKeon, who had travelled from Perth in Western Australia, thanked the people of Melbourne for their support. "I would like to thank the huge support here in Melbourne, it's just been unbelievable. Just thank you, simply thank you. I hope they put more cameras out here to keep people safe and I just thank you everybody, everybody for all your support," she said.

In moving scenes yesterday, 30,000 people paid their respects to Jill, pausing at some of the last places she had been seen alive. They bowed their heads and prayed for her and her family.







Silence

Following the march, people gathered in a nearby park for a minute's silence. A 20-metre long mural was also been painted on Melbourne's Hosier Lane with the poignant message: Rest In Peace Jill.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said the mural captured the mood of the city.

"Whether it stays longer term is probably a question for the new council, but it is an appropriate reminder to us at the moment," he said.

"My suggestion would be we leave it for at least a short period of time before we decide whether it stays there permanently or not," he added. Members of the public have now been asked to leave tributes at the nearby Baptist Church on Sydney Road.

comurphy@herald.ie


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