Belfast stands ‘in solidarity’ with Nora Quoirin's family as book of condolence opens
The Lord Mayor of Belfast has said the family of Nora Quoirin "have been through hell" in the past few days.
Sinn Fein councillor John Finucane was speaking as he signed a book of condolence which opened in Belfast City Hall yesterday afternoon.
Mr Finucane also praised the "very clear and positive" show of solidarity from Belfast, the home city of Nora's mother Meabh.
He said: "While we are waiting for the full details to come out of Malaysia, this is a tragic story that has really resonated with people in Belfast and beyond.
"This was a family on holiday and this is a girl who was vulnerable.
"Everybody had hoped that she would be found safely.
"The family have been through hell in the past few days.
"There is a very clear connection to Belfast and I think the empathy and support, and the story itself, has really touched something in people here.
"You can see that from the messages of solidarity and support from the people of Belfast.
"I just hope that from this point onwards the family get the truth they desire."
Deputy Lord Mayor and Alliance councillor Peter McReynolds added: "My thoughts and prayers are with Nora's extended family at this time.
"I would encourage people to visit City Hall and pay their final respects to someone who has been shown through the media as a much cherished girl by all who knew her."
Padraigin Drinan, from Belfast, was among those waiting her turn to sign the book. "I heard on the lunchtime news that the book of condolence was opening, so I just wanted to come down and sign it," she explained.
"I've never done anything like this before, but I have been following the story since Nora disappeared.
"Today I really hoped the poor family would finally find out what happened to her with the post-mortem result.
"For it to have gone on for eight hours and the pathologists coming to no conclusion, it has got worse and worse for them.
"I don't know them or anything about them, but that is really dragging things out."
David Hynds said it was important to come to mark a "horrific" tragedy.
He said: "I feel terribly sad for the family, being so far away.
"There was no way I was not coming. I made a deliberate effort to come down.
"It is such an awful tragedy what has happened."
Mr Hynds also praised the donation of a reward for information about Nora's disappearance by a Belfast-based business.
"It really did show the way that people do react, to sympathise with somebody.
"You have to show empathy with people."