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Unsolved True Crime A Slane gig and a young mum who never came home


Antoinette’s two daughters, Lisa and Rachel, at a media briefing seeking public help

Antoinette’s two daughters, Lisa and Rachel, at a media briefing seeking public help

Antoinette’s two daughters, Lisa and Rachel, at a media briefing seeking public help

The Dublin Mountains hold eerie secrets. High above the city its bogs and forests have been used by killers to hide bodies in the hope they will never be found.

So it was with Antoinette Smith, the young mother-of-two who went to see David Bowie at Slane in 1987.

She had planned to stay at her friend's house that night and travel back to her home the following day, but she never came home.

Thirty-three years later, the killer of the 27-year-old from Clondalkin has not been found.

After arranging that her husband would look after their daughters Lisa (7) and Rachel (4), and going to Slane, Antoinette got a bus back to Dublin with her friend Marie and went to the La Mirage nightclub on Parnell Street.

They left at 2.15am with two men they had met at the club, one of whom they knew. Antoinette wanted to stay out longer but her pal wanted to go home, so she gave Antoinette a spare key to her house.

The last known sighting of Antoinette was as she walked on O'Connell Street with the two men near Clerys, heading in the direction of O'Connell Bridge in the early hours of Sunday July 12, 1987.

Those men were traced and told gardaí they parted ways with Antoinette and she had walked towards Clerys.

When she did not come to collect the children as planned gardaí were notified and the search began.


Nine months later, on Easter Sunday in April 1988, Antoinette's body was found by a young family out on a day trip at Glendoo Mountain, hidden in a bog drain.

Because her body had decomposed it was difficult to establish how she died, but it seems plausible that she was strangled.

After new appeals for information, a taxi driver came forward and said he had picked up two men and someone who looked like Antoinette near O'Connell Street at around 3.30am the night she vanished and brought them to Rathfarnham village.

Later, another witness came forward who said that on July 12 he had gone up to the mountains to walk his dog that morning, in an area around two miles from where Antoinette's body was later found, and that he saw a man come down from the hills and walk past him.

He didn't reply when the dog walker wished him 'good morning' but started talking to another man. Neither seemed dressed for hillwalking, and neither has ever been traced.

A cold case review of the facts was carried out in 2013, but the mystery as to who killed Antoinette remains.

Her daughters Lisa and Rachel have continued their appeals for information and a renewed garda focus on the case, especially as advances in forensic science are developed.

"Every time we do an appeal it takes a lot out of us. We have to build ourselves up to put ourselves on camera, and it is very draining," Rachel told the Herald.

"We ask what more we can do, but then I think that if I don't do this I'm afraid mam will be forgotten about.

"All the victims of unsolved murders deserve justice. They were human beings, and we have to be their voice."