A mother who was brutally murdered in her Dundalk home will be remembered in a special memorial to mark the second anniversary of her death.
Irene White was stabbed to death in her kitchen, suffering multiple knife wounds to her back and chest.
On Good Friday, April 6, exactly two years from when Mrs White’s elderly mother stumbled across her body, a vigil will be held outside her home.
At the event, organised by Mrs White’s sister Anne Delcassian, special tributes will be paid to the 126 women across Ireland who lost their lives to violent crime since 1996.
The parents and aunt of French woman Sophie Toscan du Plantier, beaten to death in Cork over 10 years ago, are among those who will be at the vigil.
More recent victims to be remembered include Waterford woman Meg Walsh, Siobhan Kearney, who was strangled with a vacuum cleaner flex in her Goatstown home, and Rachel O’Reilly, whose husband Joe has been charged with her murder.
“In the vigil for Irene we will be remembering the other women in Ireland who have lost their lives like this,” said Mrs Delcassian.
“There were 126 ladies killed since 1996 – and more prior to this date – and this will go some way to highlight the very weak legal system we have in Ireland, when people can walk free while our loved ones lie buried in their graves.
“Our society has a lot to answer for and I think these vulnerable women should be known throughout Ireland.
“I want to invite all the families of these murdered women to come and, as a solidarity move by all of us, show we are not prepared to take this any more.”
Mrs White, 43, was the mother of one teenage girl, Jennifer, and two young boys, Dairine and Damhan, who now live with relatives.
She was separated from her husband Alan.
Her body was found by her mother Maureen McBride, who had moved in to a mobile home at the bottom of her garden.
Mrs McBride, who was in her 70s, died six months later in October 2005, on what would have been her late daughter’s 44th birthday.
“My beautiful mother died as a result of all of this, she died from a broken heart, so where I’m looking from, Irene’s death was responsible for hers,” said Mrs Delcassian, whose only brother Michael was killed while crossing a road in 1963.
Despite Crimestoppers offering a 10,000 euro reward for information that would lead to the killer being identified, no one has even been charged.
The prime suspect was a man aged between 30 and 40 seen running from the house on the morning of the murder.
In May 2006, two people were arrested in relation to Mrs White’s death, but were later released without charge.
Mrs Delcassian, who now lives in Manchester, said it is easier for her living away from home.
“What concerns me is that whatever people were involved in Irene’s murder, they are running around free, but my mother and Irene are not,” she said.
“The only thing I bank my hopes on now is that all of the murder cases that I have studied, two years seems to be the time until the killers are apprehended and moves are made.
“I am in contact with detectives in Dundalk and not a day goes by when they are not working on that case. I have the highest regard for the detectives working on it.
“I think the time will come when resolution will take place and someone will be arrested in relation to it, but until that time comes I have made sure that Irene has been kept in the public domain.”
Mrs Delcassian paid tribute to her caring sister and has set up a website in her memory to ensure she is never forgotten.
The family were originally from Omeath, a small village in County Louth close to the border with Newry.
Mrs Delcassian said having her sister’s anniversary fall on Good Friday will be even more memorable, as it brought back fun memories of the pair travelling across the border to Newry for the night when the pubs closed in the south.
“I remember Irene as a strong person,” she added. “Someone who knew exactly what she wanted, a woman who knew what direction her life was going.”