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'We want truth and justice': Nóra Quoirin family call for inquest to be carried out in Malaysia

Nóra Quoirin’s parents have spoken out for the first time since her death in an interview with RTÉ News.

Nóra Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Nóra Quoirin with her mother Meabh
Image: Aisling Agnew/RollingNews.ie

THE FAMILY OF Nóra Quoirin has called on the Malaysian authorities to carry out an inquest into the disappearance and death of their daughter. 

Speaking publicly in an interview with RTÉ News for the first time since the death of their daughter, Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin said they are determined to get truth and justice for Nóra. 

Irish citizen Nóra Quoirin went missing on Sunday 4 August after arriving at The Dusun resort near the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. 

Her disappearance sparked a massive 10-day search in the jungle that involved hundreds of people, helicopters, drones and sniffer dogs.

The search came to a tragic end on Tuesday 13 August when her body was discovered in a ravine beside a stream 2km from the resort.

Meabh Quoirin told RTÉ that it would have been “impossible physically and mentally to imagine that she could have got any distance at all”. 

An autopsy showed the 15-year-old likely starved and died of internal bleeding after about a week in the jungle, with no signs of abduction or foul play, police said.

However, the family still believe that there was a criminal element to her disappearance. 

For us something very complex happened. We have insisted from the beginning that we believe there was a criminal element to what happened. 

“And crucially we’re struggling because it was difficult to get resources in place fast enough to investigate a criminal angle,” she said. 

Nóra’s body was taken back from Malaysia to London, where the family lives. Here, another post-mortem examination was carried out, however, the family are still awaiting these results. 

‘Incredibly stressful’

Nóra Quoirin was born with Holoprosencephaly – this means that she had a smaller brain. 

Throughout her childhood, she spent a lot of time in hospital and needed dedicated specialist educational provision. She attended a school for children and young people with learning and communication difficulties, the family said previously. 

The Quoirin family have now they said believe Malaysian authorities didn’t understand that Nóra had special needs which they said was “hugely frustrating and incredibly stressful”. 

nora-quoirin-2 Nóra Quoirin Source: Lucie Blackman Trust/Family

A number of days before Nóra’s body was discovered, her mother recorded a voice message addressed to her daughter, which was played over loudspeaker during the search in the Malaysian jungle, in a hope that it might have found her. 

Meabh Quoirin described to RTÉ how she found the strength to record the message.

You will do anything for your child. I could think of only one thing and that was to do whatever it took to find Nóra. 

“Because of her needs, we were aware that a stranger calling her in the jungle, that she wouldn’t respond to that,” Meabh said. 

“You feel your child with you all the time and you talk to her like you would every day and I called her by all the names that she had at home.” 

british-teenager-nora-quoirin-missing-in-malaysia Meabh Quoirin thanking Malaysian authorities for their efforts to find Nóra Source: Chris Jung via PA Images

Inquest

The Quoirin family are now calling on the Malaysian authorities to carry out an inquest into Nóra’s disappearance and death. 

Sebastian Quoirin told RTÉ: “We are determined to have this inquest. We’re hopeful that the French, the Irish and British governments will support us. I think it’s a basic human right and democratic duty to find some truth and justice to what happened.” 

On 9 August, it was confirmed that a Garda Liaison Officer had been deployed to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to assist with the case. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs has also been providing consular assistance to the family. 

Meabh added

I think we will seek justice in so far as we can. We have to find peace in our own hearts. 

“We will carry Nóra with us forever. She’s with us here every day. I talk to her every day. She holds my hand. We hear her, we see her in all that we do at home.” 

The full interview with the Quoirin family will be aired on RTÉ News Now at 8pm.

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