The murder of Latvian mother-of-two Baiba Saulite was also an evil attack on Irish society, a memorial service heard tonight.
Ms Saulite, 28, was shot by a professional hitman on November 19 as she stood in the hallway of her north Co Dublin home while her two sons, Ali, 5 and three-year-old Mohammed slept upstairs.
Fr John Ferris told tonight’s congregation in St Colmcille’s Catholic Church in Swords that the office cleaner was a courageous woman who overcame many difficulties in her life.
Crimestoppers today offered a €10,000 reward for information on the killing, which will be featured on RTE One’s CrimeCall programme tonight.
Fr Ferris said: “We know how important our mothers are in the life of the family. They are the centre of family life, the cradle of love.
“When a family is attacked and the mother killed a family is destroyed. It is an attack on the very basis of our society. And it offends all of us.
“This is why the murder of Baiba Saulite has had such an enormous effect on all people of goodwill. Our solidarity and our perseverance will overcome the evil which dares to undermine what we hold most dear. Namely our families and our right to live in peace in our communities.”
He added: “The death of Baiba Saulite was horrific and shocking to all of us. It leaves us shocked and deeply saddened. Baiba was a wonderful woman who overcame so many difficulties in her life.
“She was courageous and confident, guided by her love for her two boys, Ali and Mohammed.
“She was a person who had many friends here and those who knew her well had great admiration and love for her. She was a true friend.”
Ms Saulite’s remains were due to be repatriated to Latvia by members of her family earlier today.
The mother was a Latvian Lutheran by faith and a memorial service will be held next month in St Finian’s Lutheran Church on Adelaide Road, Dublin.
Fr Ferris said she went there to pray when her two boys were allegedly abducted by her husband Hassan Hassan in the past.
Hassan, who is serving a four-year prison sentence for handling stolen goods, was refused bail last week to attend his wife’s funeral.
Fr Ferris tonight told the memorial service that Baiba’s surname ‘Saulite’ means ‘a little sun’.
“She had a radiant personality,” he added.
“In Latvian folklore one could find many songs where the sun and the mother are mentioned together – they are so alike, they are always there for us, give light and warmth to us in order for us to feel cared for and that we may grow. There is great sadness at the death of Baiba.”
As part of the overall Garda investigation, officers are to distribute leaflets in English, Latvian, Arabic and Russian on the streets of Swords in a bid to seek details from the public on the fatal shooting.
The mother-of-two, who lived in Holywell Square, Feltrim Road had previously told her friends and neighbours that she was concerned for her safety but gardai insisted they were unaware of any specific threat.
After Ms Saulite’s death, it emerged that her solicitor John Hennessy had received death threats, including an attempted arson attack on his house last February.
A spokeswoman for Crimestoppers said it was offering the 10,000 euro cash reward “for specific information leading to the identification of the person or persons responsible for Ms Saulite’s murder.”
Anybody with information on the murder is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 250025 or the Garda Confidential Telephone line on 1800 666 111.