Jill Meagher's husband has paid an emotional tribute to her 10 years after their wedding anniversary and six years after her brutal rape and murder in Australia.
The Jill Meagher case was one of the most horrific cases to hit the Irish expat community.
Jill, a 29-year-old Drogheda native, was walking home from a night out with friends in Melbourne, where she was living at the time, when she was attacked by Adrian Bayley on September 22, 2012.
The court later heard that he had a history of violent sex attacks and had previously raped 21 times, the first time when he was 18-years-old. He was on bail for an assault conviction and also on parole for previous rape convictions at the time he attacked Jill.
Her father, George McKeon, broke down as he delivered his victim impact statement. He said his daughter helped him recover from a stroke in 2012 and he was looking forward to becoming a grandfather.
“I will never see my daughter bearing and rearing her children. I have no other daughters. My wife will never have a maternal grandchild, and that bond between her and her daughter has ended,” he said.
Now, on what would have been the 10th anniversary of their marriage, her hudband, Tom, has spoken out.
‘Only five weeks ago I stood in the Wicklow mountains where we were married, looking up at the canopy in the woods behind the grounds, as I have done many times in the six years since her death," he said in an emotional post on his Facebook page.
Tom Meagher continued, ‘I carry the scars of Jill’s death because that’s how I remember to carry her light inside me.
‘Those scars are what connect me and her, they are what teach me, what give me strength, what allow me to hold the confusing mishmash of emotional chaos together and survive, not without her, but with her loving guidance and formidable strength.’
‘Slainte Jill. You were a warrior for love, life and liberation Thank you for consistently and persistently teaching me how to live, how to think, how to embrace love wholly, and to bear witness to the fire you lit in me and so many others in your short time on this earth. You are loved at every moment of every day.’
During the trial, Jill’s husband’s statement was read by a lawyer who said on his behalf that Jill’s murder had reinforced “just how deeply depraved and disgusting human beings can be.”