Mother of murdered woman awaits trial of alleged killer

THE mother of a Dublin woman, beaten to death in Spain two years ago, has spoken of her heartache as she awaits the trial of her daughter’s alleged killer.

Sandra Conroy’s 26-year-old daughter, Celine, was beaten to death in front of her three children at a holiday home in Alicante in August 2005.

Her long-term partner Paul Hickey, 29, was charged in connection with her death, but despite expectations his trial would begin in October, no date has been fixed yet.

Celine Conroy’s family have now raised €11,000 in funds to help challenge any legal defence put up by her alleged killer.

But the long delay in bringing the murder trial to court has anguished Sandra Conroy.

“All this waiting around is killing me. It’s just horrible. I can’t explain it, it’s like a dream. I have nightmares where I see Celine calling for my help,” said Ms Conroy.

Ms Conroy previously wrote to her local TD, Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs seeking help. The possibility of helping finance the case was viewed as “inappropriate” by the department.

The north Dublin family have however managed to raise €11,000 for legal expenses for a lawyer to represent the family during any court proceedings in Spain as well as to oppose any bail applications made on behalf of Paul Hickey.

Celine Conroy’s body was found on August 28, two years ago today, in a villa the couple were staying at in eastern Spain.

Her three children, Shane, 11, Chloe, 7, and Leah, 4 are being cared for by extended family members. The oldest daughter Chloe recently made her first Holy Communion.

Speaking to the Northside People recently, Sandra Conroy spoke of the toll her daughter’s murder was taking on her as well the delay in the trial.

“I used to be a happy, outgoing person who would help anyone but now I don’t go out anymore.

“I’ve become bitter and I need tablets to get asleep at night and I have nightmares.

“It was Celine’s birthday recently. Normally we would have been celebrating but this time we all just went to her grave. What else could we do?”

Paul Hickey, originally from Darndale in north Dublin, was arrested and charged with Celine’s murder following the discovery of her battered body.

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