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Family of tragic Michaela mark first anniversary of her death with photo

The heartbroken family of Porterstown schoolgirl Michaela Davis are marking the first anniversary of her death with this photograph of her smiling and full of life.

They will also mark her anniversary with a Mass in her local church surrounded by the friends and neighbours that have been their constant support since she died.

In the early hours of August 28 last, Michaela went missing from her home in The Village, in Porterstown.

She had told her parents, Deirdre and Brendan, shortly after midnight that she was just going out for a few minutes, but she did not return home.

Hours passed, and searches proved fruitless, then later in the morning a local walking a dog along the canalside not far from her home made the terrible discovery of Michaela's body concealed in the undergrowth.

A post mortem found Michaela had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

Today Michaela's heartbroken father Brendan said it had been "a hard year and it wasn't getting easier".

And he told how it was only with the support of neighbours and the close community that their family could cope with her loss.

"Everybody has been so supportive, and it is hard to know how to express our thanks to them all," Brendan explained.

"It is only with their support that we got through the shock of it all, and it is only with their continued support that we can try and move forward," he added.

Brendan also said that the heartfelt feelings of the local St Mochta's school, and all Michaela's schoolpals, was a constant strength to them as a family.

"When we go up to the grave we can see they have been there, because they leave their messages and tokens of for Michaela," he said.

"There's a plaque to her in the school as well, and the local priest is fantastic. We just couldn't get through it without them," Brendan said.

He also said how memories of Michaela can come flooding back at any time of the day or night.

The anniversary Mass will be held on September 3 because Michaela's brother Brendan Jr has his graduation on the actual anniversary date,

Jonathan Byrne (18) of Lohunda Downs in Clonsilla now stands charged with her murder.