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Dreams of a better life for their girls ended in tragedy

Angelique Billing dreamed of a better life when she moved to Clare with her husband Cornelius and their two young girls just nine months ago.

Originally from South Africa, Angie, as she was known to friends, had hoped for a good family life for her children, Pamela (4) and two-year-old Cornie (inset) in the village of Kildysart.


Instead, the family life crumbled apart. Without proper permits, Angie could not secure work here. Cornelius travelled abroad for work but a dream contract in Africa, which would allow the entire family return home, ended after a short stint.

Despite their lack of funds, Angie did her best for her children and the community of Kildysart went out of their way to help her.

Clothes, food, money and toys were all provided to the young family. But things continued to get worse.

"She came to this country hoping to make a safe life for her and her children but, unfortunately, that was not to be. She was a great friend and a happy soul even in the worst of times," said her friend.

"She knew she couldn't get work here and she decided to go home with her children. She loved her mother and step-father and all she wanted was to get home to them," they added.

But her dreams of being home by Christmas ended tragically on Wednesday afternoon when an altercation in the family home led to both Angie and Cornelius being fatally stabbed.

Describing her as a young, spirited and loving mother of two little girls, friends said Angie would be sadly missed by everyone who knew and loved her.

"This was a terrible tragedy for her mother and step-father and extended family and her friends, and this community will ask people to please respect and appreciate that.

"Angie lived for her children and died for them," they added.