The father of Kate Fitzgerald, the 25-year-old American media consultant and the head of the Irish Democrats for Obama who died last year in Dublin, has stated that his daughter's apparent suicide was more likely murder.
In an article for the Sunday Independent, Tom Fitzgerald writes that suicid"did not seem open to question. Wonderful, beautiful Kate was gone. It was simply unbelievable. Our dynamic 25-year-old daughter, full of promise, beauty and ambition -- was gone. The absolute finality was shattering. I couldn't think. Nothing could be done. It was over. No conversations could happen. Nothing could be brought back."
Tom Fitzgerald formerly lived in the US and his wife Sally is U.S. born.
The police claimed his daughter's death was suicide by hanging. Her father writes that Kate, who was always conscious of how she looked, would not choose to end her life in such an unsightly, violent way.
"I called the investigating garda and quizzed him in great detail about what he found and how sure he was that it was suicide," he writes.
"Yes, he was 100 per cent certain it was suicide.
"It looked as if she stopped taking her medication on August 18, he said. We found out that the anti-depressant she was taking could have led to psychotic episodes if one suddenly stopped taking it. It appeared she had been drinking heavily, he said. There were two empty bottles of alcohol in the house, he said.
"I called the morgue where the autopsy had been done on the previous day. The person who answered told me they had been part of the autopsy team. Yes, they were 100 per cent certain it was suicide. All the marks on the body were consistent with suicide. I asked numerous questions. Definitely suicide, no question.
"How did she die?" I asked.
"She broke her neck."
"So, it was instant, I thought. Based on what they told me, I was looking at possible psychotic episodes, alcohol and instant death. In such circumstances, suicide seemed possible. I discussed it with William. Reluctantly, I gave the go-ahead for cremation."
Read more on the case of Kate Fitzgerald's death here
He goes on to say how on February 16,2012 he and his wife Sally received Kate's autopsy report.
"February 16 was as traumatic as August 23. We waded through the details of the autopsy. We went to our local GP to interpret some of the medical terminology. It didn't seem consistent with what we had learned previously.
"1. Kate did not die of a broken neck. She died slowly of ligature strangulation.
"2. Kate had not stopped taking her medication. The medication levels were clinically spot on.
"3. Kate had not been drinking heavily. She died with the equivalent of one drink in her system.
"4. Other evidence that we had in our possession became crucial to the case due to the new information. We cannot discuss this due to the garda investigation.
"5. Kate's hyoid bone -- a small bone in the neck -- was broken. This unattached bone in the neck can only be broken by horizontal pressure. It is extremely rare in suicidal hanging and even more so with a young person.
"We've spoken to a number of legal people on this matter and since the autopsy report, we've done a lot of research, and this injury is always a strong indicator of murder."
Detectives reopened the investigation on May 4.
Tom Fitzgerald says that they "can't accept suicide as the only option anymore."
He says "Now we must learn to live with possible murder and the strong likelihood that no one will be caught."
He calls for present laws in Ireland to be changed "so that all unnatural deaths are investigated as State cases, no matter how they look." He proposes calling this change "Kate's law."
"The gardai told us there were no photos taken at the death scene. The morgue told us there were no photos taken at the autopsy. The gardai told us this is standard procedure if it is not a "State case". A "State case" is one where there is a decision of foul play at the time of death. If there isn't such a decision, then investigation is less than intensive.
"What happened in Kate's case could have happened to hundreds of people around Ireland. If the gardai on the scene are convinced that it is a suicide or an accident, then it doesn't become a "State case." The system simply does not work in a case like this.
"If the on-scene gardai are satisfied that it is not a State case, it will not be investigated as a State case. This deficiency needs to be addressed. Keep in mind that this is the way the system works right now."