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Jennifer Dornan's dad pleads: 'Find the animal who killed my daughter'

By David Young

Published 04/08/2015

Jennifer Dornan's father Stephen speaks at the vigil. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Jennifer Dornan's father Stephen speaks at the vigil. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
A murder investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found following a house fire on the outskirts of west Belfast. She was Jennifer Dornan, 30, a mother of three. Friends and neighbours organised a vigil for the dead woman that was held outside her Lagmore home in Belfast on Monday evening. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
A murder investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found following a house fire on the outskirts of west Belfast. She was Jennifer Dornan, 30, a mother of three. Friends and neighbours organised a vigil for the dead woman that was held outside her Lagmore home in Belfast on Monday evening. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
A murder investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found following a house fire on the outskirts of west Belfast. She was Jennifer Dornan, 30, a mother of three. Friends and neighbours organised a vigil for the dead woman that was held outside her Lagmore home in Belfast on Monday evening. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
A murder investigation has been launched after the body of a woman was found following a house fire on the outskirts of west Belfast. She was Jennifer Dornan, 30, a mother of three. Friends and neighbours organised a vigil for the dead woman that was held outside her Lagmore home in Belfast on Monday evening. Picture By: Arthur Allison.
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 3rd August 2015 - Vigil for Jennifer Dornan Pictured is the sister of Jennifer Dornan, Claire Dornan in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for Murder victim Jennifer Dornan after she was found dead following a blaze in her Hazel View home in the West of the City. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye Belfast - Northern Ireland - Monday 3rd August 2015 - Vigil for Jennifer Dornan Pictured is MLA Jennifer McCann in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for Murder victim Jennifer Dornan after she was found dead following a blaze in her Hazel View home in the West of the City. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sister of Jennifer Dornan, Claire Dornan, pictured during the vigil. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Members of the public in the Lagmore area holding a vigil for murder victim Jennifer Dornan. Photo: Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sister of Jennifer Dornan, Claire Dornan, pictured during the vigil. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Tributes have been paid to Jennifer Dornan who died in a fire at her home in Dunmurry yesterday morning
Tributes have been paid to Jennifer Dornan who died in a fire at her home in Dunmurry yesterday morning
Tributes have been paid to Jennifer Dornan who died in a fire at her home in Dunmurry yesterday morning

Find the animal who killed my daughter - before he does it to somebody else.

That was the heart-wrenching plea made by grief-stricken Stephen Dornan, father of murdered Jennifer Dornan, at a west Belfast vigil to honour the single mother of three's memory.

Mr Dornan appealed to the local community to bring any information they had to the police, so that his daughter's killer could be brought to justice.

"Whatever you've seen - how little, how big, how small, come forward," he said.

"This animal killed an innocent, defenceless woman in cold blood.

"However little you know, come forward, and he'll be off the streets tomorrow - before he does this to somebody else."

Jennifer Dornan's body was found in her burned out Hazel View home in the Lagmore area of Dunmurry on Sunday.

It was initially thought that the popular community figure - who had only celebrated her 30th birthday in May - had died in the blaze.

But yesterday the PSNI revealed that they had launched a murder hunt. A post mortem yesterday found evidence that Ms Dornan was already dead before the fire was started.

At the hundred-strong vigil, Jennifer's sister Claire was too overcome with emotion to speak.

Jennifer's uncle Paul Donnelly described his niece as "an angel".

"She would have done anything for anybody," he said.

"She'd have gone out of her way to help anybody - that's the sort of person she was.

"I can't believe what has happened.

"It was bad enough thinking that she died in a tragic accident, but to find out that somebody murdered her, and then set her house on fire to cover it up - it's a disgrace. This person needs to be taken off the streets as soon as possible."

Clairsey Colette, a friend of the murdered woman, has set up an online campaign to raise money to help Jennifer's three children - Abi (4), Martin (8) and Jayden (6) - in the aftermath of their mother's death. They had been staying with their grandmother at the time.

In just two days the campaign has raised £12,000 from 857 donations.

At the vigil, Jennifer's friend, Tanya Watson, said: "Everybody loved her - no one had a bad word to say about her.

"Jennifer's memory will live on.

"Not one person here tonight will ever forget Jennifer - and the person that she was."

West Belfast Sinn Fein MLA Jennifer McCann, who attended the emotionally-charged vigil, said: "I want to offer to the family tonight the sincere sympathy and the condolences of this community - and especially to Jennifer's mother and father, and particularly to her three young children.

"We really feel your sense of loss. This news has sent shockwaves through the community, who have rallied round her family.

"I am urging anyone in the community with information which may assist the police inquiry into Jennifer's death to come forward right away."

"This is a time for calm heads and the community needs to support the family and help the police get on with their job of finding Jennifer's killer."

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