Saturday 17 August 2019

Daughters' appeal for help to catch their mum's killer

Antoinette Smith’s daughters, Rachel and Lisa, appealing for information about their mother’s murder, at Bray Garda Station last Friday
Antoinette Smith’s daughters, Rachel and Lisa, appealing for information about their mother’s murder, at Bray Garda Station last Friday
The late Antoinette smith
Detective Inspector Sorcha Fitzpatrick

Mary Fogarty

Gardaí have issued a fresh appeal for information relating to the murder of Antoinette Smith on the anniversary of her disappearance 32 years ago.

At a briefing held last Friday morning in Bray Garda station, Antoinette's daughters Rachel and Lisa said that they believe she was attacked by someone known to her.

Ms Smith (27) was at a David Bowie concert in Slane before she disappeared in the early hours of July 12, 1987. She attended La Mirage nightclub on Parnell Street after the concert and never returned home to Clondalkin. She was wearing a David Bowie T-shirt, dark blue denim jeans, a denim jacket and navy blue high heels and was last seen on O'Connell Street in the city.

Her body was found on Glendoo Mountain, near the Lemass monument outside Enniskerry, nine months later on April 3, 1988.

'There is someone out there responsible for this horrific and horrible crime,' said Rachel Smith, at Bray Garda Station. Rachel was four at the time of her mother's disappearance, while her sister Lisa was seven.

'Relationships break down, someone has to know something. Someone is holding on to information and we want them to come forward so we can put this behind us and let her rest in peace. We are getting older and our dad is getting older and he wants justice. Anyone holding information is just as guilty as the person responsible. We need something, even small, to bring the links together.

'I think that the person is known to her. There's no way in her right mind that she would go up the Wicklow Mountains at that time,' said Rachel.

'We don't know who it is, it could be a family member, it could be a close friend,' she said. 'Things could have escalated on a night out and this person has left two young kids to grow up without a mother.'

Lisa believes the culprit left her mother's body in an isolated area with the intention she would never be found.

'We do know that it was probably a well-planned attack, given the basis of the case,' said Rachel. 'You wouldn't leave a dog where she was found,' she said.

Lisa said that her mother had missed all the milestones of her daughters growing up. 'Going to school, confirmation, joining a drama club or football club or winning a trophy, all the things you want your mam for,' she said. 'I was very aware when I saw my friends with their parents, my mam wasn't there. It was hard.

'My mam was the typical fun-loving young mum. She was into fashion and music and we've both got that from her, we're both into music.

'We live through the stories others have of her. Friends tell us that we are just like her and that's great for us as we don't have that many memories.

'The "what ifs" are the hardest. It was very traumatic growing up without her.'

Detective Inspector Sorcha Fitzpatrick appealed for information regarding Antoinette's disappearance and death.

'Circumstances change over the years,' she said. 'Someone who may have been prevented at the time from coming to us with information in relation to Antoinette's murder, we are appealing to them to come forward and contact the investigation teams,' she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Bray garda station on 01 666 5300, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any station.

Wicklow People