The husband of murdered Melbourne woman Jill Meagher may move home to Ireland “a broken man” but one still trying to prevent a repeat of what happened to his wife.
Tom Meagher has been considering returning to Ireland after his 29-year-old wife’s rape and murder in Brunswick in September, while also campaigning for reforms to Victoria’s parole system.
Moreland City Council mayor Oscar Yildiz, who is visiting Ms Meagher’s Irish hometown of Drogheda, said Mr Meagher would travel home later this month.
“He’s coming back later on this month, I guess just to clear his head and touch base with his family,” Mr Yildiz told Irish broadcaster RTE.
“He’s a broken man, but I just can’t believe how mentally tough he really is.
“He’s challenging our parole board back home in Victoria and he doesn’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
Tom’s mother, Joan Meagher, said it had been difficult with her son being so far away and not being able to give him a hug.
She said Jill had not been forgotten.
“All of these people who didn’t even know Jill are shocked and outraged by what had happened to her,” she told reporters after an event with family members, Mr Yildiz and Drogheda mayor Richie Culhane.
“It’s unbelievable. We still find it difficult to grasp that this has happened to Jill and that she’s never coming back.”
Mr Yildiz said Ms Meagher’s death had left a lasting legacy.
“We’re still horrified by what’s happened,” he told the Drogheda event.
“I think our parole board has failed.”
Mr Meagher is due to meet with Victorian Premier Denis Napthine this week to discuss his concerns about the parole system, with victims and justice groups pressuring the government to make the parole board more transparent and accountable.
Mr Meagher is disappointed he was not interviewed as part of a now-completed review of the system, even though the investigation was sparked by his wife’s murder by convicted rapist Adrian Ernest Bayley, who was on parole.
Mr Meagher has demanded to know why the Adult Parole Board allowed Bayley to be paroled and why he was not sent back to jail even after he assaulted someone months before Ms Meagher’s murder.
Mr Yildiz says there are plans for a memorial to Ms Meagher in Brunswick, where the couple lived.
Moreland and Drogheda, north of Dublin, are also talking about establishing a twin-city relationship. – AAP