Funeral held for murdered Irish woman in Australia

A private funeral was held on Friday for murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher in Australia, whose disappearance gripped the nation and led to an outpouring of grief and anger.

Edith McKeon (red jacket) and husband George (3rd R), parents of murdered Irish woman Jill Meagher, release doves with Jill Meagher's husband Tom (2nd R) and her brother Michael (4th R) after the funeral service at the chapel in Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne, on October 5. Meagher, 29, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) staff member, died almost two weeks ago after disappearing on way home.

The 29-year-old, who worked for state broadcaster ABC, vanished in the early hours of September 22 as she walked home from a bar just a few blocks from her Melbourne home.

Her body was found five days later in a shallow grave in a rural area about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from the city. Adrian Ernest Bayley, 41, has been charged with Meagher's rape and murder.

"The light she brought to us almost 30 years ago will shine on us forever," her mother Edith McKeon said at the service.

Twenty nine doves were released, while mourners were given white ribbons and wristbands to promote a foundation that fights violence against women.

Meagher's death hit a nerve in Australia with tens of thousands of people joining a march on Sunday through the suburb where she was last seen alive, in a peaceful demonstration against violence.

Floral tributes, meanwhile, piled up outside the bridal boutique where surveillance cameras captured her last known images, speaking to a man in a blue jumper who police allege is her killer.

On Thursday, the family thanked the public for their support.

"We cannot begin to convey the overwhelming feelings of grief, sadness and sorrow at the loss of our beloved Jill," they said in a statement.

Meagher moved to Australia from Ireland with her husband three years ago.

Residents in her hometown of Drogheda, Ireland, are set to celebrate her life at a mass on Friday.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency