Irishwoman Ciara Glennon died fighting for her life when she was abducted during a night out in Perth in 1997. Yesterday her father made an emotional speech about finally finding justice for her after 23 years.
The father of murdered solicitor Ciara Glennon has spoken out about his unwavering pursuit of justice on behalf of his daughter. The 27-year-old vanished after a night out in the suburbs of Perth in Australia.
Yesterday Bradley Robert Edwards was convicted of murdering the 27-year-old. He was also found guilty of the deaths of 23-year-old Jane Rimmer, a childcare worker from the area.
We will not allow ourselves to be prisoners of the past
Denis Glennon, from Westport Co Mayo, last night revealed to reporters that the family would not be providing victim impact statements for the sentencing of Edwards. In an incredibly moving and eloquent speech broadcast by Western Australian police following the conviction, Mr Glennon said they would now try to find some kind of peace.
“Crimes such as these inflict unforeseeable collateral damage,” Mr. Glennon said. They take their toll physically, emotionally, and spiritually on those left behind. As a family, we will not allow ourselves to be prisoners of the past.”
He also paid tribute to his daughter, saying she "fought to save her life" and in doing so left us "vital DNA clues". "Ciara was strong in spirit, had courage, great courage. But yet, as she fought to save her life ... she could not save herself," he said.
Never mentioning the convicted killer’s name as he read his written statement, Mr. Glennon revealed a promise he made to his daughter as he visited her grave in 1997. “I made a personal commitment to her. I told her I would do all in my power to find the person or persons responsible for killing her, or I would die trying.
“Since then, that promise, that commitment to Ciara, has driven me unwaveringly and unapologetically."
His daughter’s remains were found dumped in bushland a few weeks after she was reported missing. Because of the brutality of the attack, the family was never allowed to view her body. However, the autopsy report showed that by fighting back, prosecutors were able to find DNA under her fingernails that helped put her killer behind bars.
Mr Glennon said the family's memories were engulfed by sadness but transcended by memories of her courage, which she undoubtedly displayed in her final moments. "Yes, memories watered by tears, but also caressed by her spirit, her ready friendship, and, above all, her courage. These memories will continue to apply healing balm to past suffering.”
I now intend to cease that personal involvement but I depart with a peaceful belief that justice has been delivered to Ciara.
He also thanked everyone involved in the epic case which he sat through for the past 7 months and said he believed justice had finally been delivered.
“We will together move forward with equanimity, renewed purpose and meaning, shepherded by those fond memories I’ve mentioned from the past,” he said. "But melded with the future, with our daughter Denise and her family, with our friends and with the thoughts of enduring gratitude to so many, so many people.”
As you know I’ve had a deep personal involvement for more than 20 years in this case, I now intend to cease that personal involvement but I depart with a peaceful belief that justice has been delivered to Ciara.
His voice shook as Mr Glennon also quoted his wife's book Ciara's Gift in which she described the family's immense grief of losing their daughter "Days that are meant to be days of celebration are now days tinged with sadness," he said. "There's always somebody missing, a conspicuous absence, an empty chair, her silence speaks louder than our words.
We miss her acutely."
Edwards will appear in court for sentencing submissions on 23 December.
Source: WA police