The Belfast mum of a teenager found dead after she disappeared from a Malaysian nature resort last year has welcomed the news that an inquest is to be held in the country.
Meabh Quoirin, whose daughter Nora’s disappearance from her family’s cottage at the Dusun eco-resort in southern Negeri Sembilan state on August 4 last year sparked a massive search operation, said that it had been a long fight to get officials to agree to this inquest.
The inquest is scheduled to take place from August 24 to 4 September 4 and will hear from 60 witnesses.
The 15-year-old’s naked body was discovered on August 13 beside a small stream about 1.6 miles from the resort. Her funeral later took place at St Brigid’s church in Belfast.
“It’s not our belief that she wandered off but what really matters is to look at all the facts,” Meabh Quoirin told RTE News.
“Nora disappeared on August 4 and this is happening on August 24, all of that feels daunting enough. With her by our sides, she will get us through this.
“We feel it is really important not just to stand up for Nora but all the children who have special needs."
The devastated mother also spoke about how difficult the past year has been.
She said: “Any grieving family will tell you that the year of firsts is particularly brutal and we’re no exception.
“Her birthday stands out as a day that we had to battle through but as we’ve always said, she is with us and she gives us the courage and determination to fight and that’s what we’re going to do.”
She and her husband Sebastian will be the first to speak at the inquest hearing via a video link, as they cannot travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“It’s been a team effort. We’ve had the support from the British government and the Irish government. The French have supported us as well along the way. It just shows that being determined and acting as a block resulted in what we have been fighting for,” added dad Sebastien.
Police have said there was no sign the 15-year-old had been abducted or raped, with a preliminary post-mortem investigation showing that she succumbed to intestinal bleeding due to starvation and stress.
Nora had poor motor skills and needed help to walk, and her mental age was about five or six years old, her parents said.