Belfast Telegraph

Murdered Jennifer's family still craving justice two years on as extradition stalls

By Staff Reporter

The family of murdered west Belfast woman Jennifer Dornan said they "miss her every single day" as the second anniversary of her death passed.

The popular 30-year-old mother-of-three was stabbed with a kitchen knife in August 2015 before her home in the Lagmore area was set alight as she lay helplessly inside.

"It's been two years but things don't get any easier," Jennifer's devastated sister Claire told Sunday Life. "All we want now is answers and justice to be served, even though that will never bring her back."

Former window cleaner Raymond O'Neill, previously of Summerhill Walk in Twinbrook, is charged with Jennifer's murder and arson.

The 38-year-old, who is in Portlaoise Prison, is wanted in Northern Ireland after heading across the border shortly after Jennifer's killing.

Last week the Dornan family received an update at an extradition hearing in Dublin.

"We have been back and forward so many times to the court in Dublin, each time hoping that something will happen, but it just kept getting delayed," said Claire, who is very close to Jennifer's three young children.

"Last week the judge said she needs to think about things and there's a break for the summer in the courts too, so the case will be back up in October and we'll know more then."

Last October, on the morning of a scheduled court appearance in Dublin, O'Neill took a cocktail of drugs in his cell and was rushed to hospital, where he was put on a life support machine.

At a hearing last month a doctor gave the court the go-ahead to begin extradition proceedings.

O'Neill's defence had previously argued that he was unfit to travel north and claimed that he would be under threat in Maghaberry Prison.

"We've still got a long way to go yet, but it feels like things are finally moving in the right direction," said Claire.

"We are all still so heartbroken and we miss her every single day. She was a brilliant mummy and sister and had a great personality, and we'll never get over what's happened."

Jennifer was found stabbed to death in her burning house in Lagmore on August 2, 2015.

It is believed she was followed by her killer from a friend's house on the night of the vicious attack.

Police suspect she was stabbed with a 14-inch blade before the upstairs of the property was set alight while she was inside. Detectives said the killer torched the property in a bid to cover their tracks.

The house was so badly damaged that the roof collapsed and all of Jennifer's children's belongings were destroyed.

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