FOLLOWING this morning’s brief court appearance by Portlaoise man Robert Corbet who was charged with the murder of 30-year-old Laois au pair Aoife Phelan, her heartbroken parents Betty and Michael, six sisters and five brothers, issued a statement appealing for privacy to mourn their loving daughter and sister.
Aoife, who was four months pregnant, went missing on October 25.
And a week later during a poignant candlelight vigil at Colliers Lane, Portlaoise on the same spot and at the same time as Aoife was last seen alive, her mother Betty, made an emotional appeal, “We are a strong family, we will be there for you and we love you.”
A memorial service was also held in St Patrick’s Church in Aoife’s home village of Ballyroan last night, marking a fortnight since her tragic disappearance.
The Phelan family statement reads;
“We are happy to have Aoife back with us, her family.
“Her death has left us sad and heartbroken. She was a loving daughter and sister and we will miss her dearly.
“We are overwhelmed by the support and the kindness we have received over the past two weeks. We would like to thank all the people who helped in searching for Aoife and who have been there for us, especially family members, neighbours, friends and the Ballyroan community.
“We would like to acknowledge the efforts of An Garda Síochana, who have worked tirelessly to have Aoife returned to us.
“We ask now for privacy as we spend our remaining precious time with Aoife today and attend to her funeral tomorrow.”