Belfast Telegraph

Campaigner mum Margaret McAlorum to be buried alongside murdered daughter Megan

By Claire McNeilly

The funeral is due to be held today of Margaret McAlorum, the campaigning west Belfast mother of murdered schoolgirl Megan, after the 63-year-old died in hospital.

Mrs McAlorum was waiting for a liver transplant for a rare condition when she passed away earlier this week.

Hundreds of mourners are expected to turn out today to say a final farewell to the mother-of-seven at St Oliver Plunkett Church at Requiem Mass at 10am.

She is to be buried alongside Megan in the City Cemetery following a service in the chapel where she said her final goodbye to her beloved daughter 13 years ago.

Mrs McAlorum is survived by her husband Frankie, and children Frankie, Richard, Lynne, Paula, Stephen, Kirsty.

Megan was just 16 when she was killed in a forested area of west Belfast in April 2004.

Thomas Purcell, a member of the Traveller community, originally denied murdering the schoolgirl but pleaded guilty at the last minute.

Describing Mrs McAlorum - who campaigned tirelessly for justice for Megan - as "the rock of the family", her daughter Lynne said they have been heartened by the support shown to them by the local community.

She said Mrs McAlorum had developed primary biliary cholangitis, a rare auto-immune condition that affects the liver.

"Megan had it as well but we didn't know that until the autopsy," she told the Irish News. "She was to get a transplant but fell into a coma on Friday.

"She did come around a few times and we were all there with her when she died at 2.14am on Tuesday.

"My daddy is just devastated, they were so close, we all are. We are such a close-knit family and that was all down to mummy, she was the rock of the family.

"Even after Megan's death when we were all struggling in our own way she was always there to pull us back together.

"She was so brave. Our home hasn't stopped with people calling to pay their respects.

"Everyone who met or knew her loved her.

"We are grateful to have had her as our mother and that we are as close as we are will be her legacy. She brought us together; she was brave and loving and we are just devastated she is gone".

When Purcell was transferred to an English jail to serve out his sentence without the McAlorums being informed, the family complained. It led to a change in policy and victims' families are now informed of the release date or any transfer by convicted killers.

Belfast Telegraph

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