West Belfast mother Eimear Clarke's sudden death sees community shattered at Easter
Published 21/04/2014 | 15:00
It should have been a peaceful Easter Sunday morning in west Belfast, with children opening their Easter eggs. Instead three young boys woke up with no mother, Easter destroyed perhaps for ever and a beautiful spring day marred by tragedy.
Neighbours of young mother Eimear Clarke, who was found dead at her home yesterday, woke up to the news that someone they knew so well had died suddenly and perhaps violently.
The police tape that sealed off Ms Clarke's home was the only indication that something terrible had happened the previous evening.
People stood outside their homes and watched on in disbelief as forensic officers inspected the young mum's house.
It was clear from the emotion on the faces of the residents that Ms Clarke's death has left a community shattered.
There was a sense of the surreal about the quiet and close-knit cul-de-sac.
Children played outside on their bicycles almost oblivious as police officers came in and out of the crime scene, many clad in protective forensic suits, while other armed officers stood guard against the ever-present threat from dissident republicans.
Neighbours chatted and recalled stories about Ms Clarke's life which was they said was filled with joy.
Ms Clarke leaves behind three young boys who meant the world to her, according to her friends.
It is believed that they spent yesterday being comforted by a family friend.
SDLP Upper Falls Councillor Tim Attwood expressed his sympathy to the family of Ms Clarke, adding that it was "very distressing" to hear that her death was being treated as suspicious.
He called on the community to rally around in her family's time of need.