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SUPPORT IN GRIEF Father of murdered Ciara Campbell urges public to stand by Ashling Murphy's family

'The pain doesn't end at the funeral. You have the trial and then the inquest... and then the parole board hearings'

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Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

Ashling Murphy

The family of Ciara Campbell who was brutally murdered by a vicious thug when she was just 22 say they sadly know what Ashling Murphy's family are going through this week.

Ciara's father Micheál said when he heard of Ashling's horrific murder this week he knew the sense of shock, disbelief and hurt that her family and friends would be feeling.

Ciara was just 22 when her ex-boyfriend Gordon Molloy lay in wait for her outside her house in Co Carlow before brutally stabbing her to death.

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School principal James Hogan and Mary Daly

School principal James Hogan and Mary Daly

School principal James Hogan and Mary Daly

 

Micheál told the Sunday World yesterday that Ashling's murder brought back all the pain of Ciara's murder and said he was devastated for Ashling's family.

"There are a lot of similarities with our own daughter. Ciara was only 22 years of age. Ashling is 23 but her age was first reported as 22. Our daughter was beautiful and Ashling looks beautiful as well in her pictures. They both had defensive marks.

"I'm a teacher myself as well. I knew how the teachers were feeling because when I heard the news myself, I remember how the teachers in our school reacted with the sense of shock, disbelief and hurt. It's indescribable.

"Ciara was attacked in her own home. She was stabbed 26 times. He lay in wait for her," Micheál said, adding that he wondered if Ashling's killer lay in wait for her.

"The sense of someone evil enough to hide behind a door as Molloy did in our case and in this case, the sense that someone can be so evil - it's just hard to describe how we feel."

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Ciara Campbell

Ciara Campbell

Ciara Campbell

 

Micheál said the initial devastation of losing a loved one to murder is only the beginning of a long and painful journey.

"When Molloy was found guilty, we left the court with some kind of sense of relief that the perpetrator was found and found guilty."

But then a garda told him Molloy would get parole in seven years and he said he couldn't believe it

Until last year, murderers were eligible to apply for ­parole after just seven years but thanks to the tireless campaigning from families of victims, including Ciara's family, that was extended to 12 years last year.

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Molloy has applied for parole twice and been refused but he has been granted day release on occasion.

Micheál said while 12 years is a step in the right direction it is not nearly enough.

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Gordon Molloy

Gordon Molloy

Gordon Molloy

 

"We have always said that life should mean life and, if not, it should be mandatory sentence of at least 25 years, the same as it is for the murder of a garda or member of the Defence Forces.

"We feel our child's life is worth the same and it should be a mandatory life sentence for all murderers.

"You can go inside and do all these courses and talk to psychologists and you can pretend you are this or that but the way this person hid behind Ciara's door and murdered her and the way this person attacked Ashling on that canal bank they should never be let out."

He said the Government should increase the amount of time murderers stay in jail before getting parole.

"We've all campaigned for this. Unfortunately, it has taken another beautiful young woman to be murdered to bring this back to the table. It's indescribable.

"Whoever did this to that poor young girl can still go for parole after 12 years if they're convicted. It's ridiculous.

"The hurt of losing young own daughter is indescribable but the hurt of trying to ­justify to keep the perpetrator in jail is nearly as bad.

"Why should we as a family have to fight to keep the killer in jail?

"There should be no question about it, Molloy should never be out no matter what his psychologist reports say.

"This shouldn't be a negotiation; this should just be a law. Anyone male or female who commits these crimes should be jailed for life or at a minimum 25 or 30 years."

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Members of the public left candles and messages

Members of the public left candles and messages

Members of the public left candles and messages

 

He said it took a lot of work from families to persuade the government to increase the eligibility time to 12 years.

"When Charlie Flanagan was Minister for Justice, we bombarded him with stuff. I asked him to come to my house and meet me. Molloy was being let out on day ­release under his watch. He did stop Molloy from going out on occasions and he hasn't been out since.

"I said to him come to the houses and meet the victims' families and come to the graveyard and I'll show you where my daughter is buried.

"There is a lot of hurt out there in the victims' families and people don't realise it."

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Ashling’s parents Kathleen and Raymond and sister Amy

Ashling’s parents Kathleen and Raymond and sister Amy

Ashling’s parents Kathleen and Raymond and sister Amy

 

He said the pain for families of murder victims doesn't end after the funeral.

"You have the funeral, then you have the trial and then the inquest, then you have parole boards and this and that. We had to submit reasons why Molloy should stay in prison. The reasons are plain and simple. He lay in wait to kill our daughter and killed her in a ferocious way."

Micheál said the outpouring of grief and demand for action on social media after Ashling's death has been a good thing.

"When Ciara was murdered in 2007, things like Facebook were just taking off. I can see the difference now, 15 years later, with campaigning and social media.

"I just wish it had been like that back in 2007 so we could have shown how much this affected our family way back then. People are getting the chance now to get to show how angry they are."

He said messages of support help victims' families.

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