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Nóra Quoirin's parents say it is 'absolutely critical' for inquest to be held by Malaysian authorities

“If the case is closed there will be no truth and we will be deprived from justice,” Nóra’s father has said.

Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin speaking on RTÉ One's Late Late Show last night
Meabh and Sebastian Quoirin speaking on RTÉ One's Late Late Show last night
Image: RTÉ Player

THE PARENTS OF Nóra Quoirin has said it is “absolutely critical” for an inquest to be into the disappearance and death of their daughter. 

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.

Speaking to RTÉ One’s Late Late Show last night, Nóra’s father Sebastian Quoirin said that will he remember the moment he realised his daughter was missing “for the rest of his life”. 

“I looked at the bed, Nóra was missing and I could feel it in my bones. You cannot underestimate the parental instinct. I felt and I knew immediately that Nóra had been taken,” he said. 

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. 

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. 

Sitting alongside Sebastian, Nóra’s mother Meabh Quoirin said that she realised “very quickly” that the window of the bedroom was open. 

“I had closed [the window] the night before. For me that was it, we knew that she’d been taken and probably out of that window,” she said. 

Meabh Quoirin said that it would have been “physically and mentally” impossible for Nóra to have climbed out the window. 

1nora Nóra Quoirin with her mother Meabh Source: Aisling Agnew/RollingNews.ie

The investigation

In the days that followed Nóra’s disappearance, a team of over 300 people, along with sniffer dogs, helicopters and drones were involved in the search through jungle terrain to find her.

However, Nóra’s parents have said it too “far too long” for authorities to consider a criminal angle in the case. 

“We were confident that they were doing a good job. The issue we had was that, I think it too far too long to take the criminal angle into consideration. I believe we lost crucial hours in forensic hours,” Sebastian Quoirin said. 

He went on to say that the discovery of Nóra’s body happened at a time when the family were beginning to feel “more optimistic”. 

“We thought if Nora hasn’t been found within seven or eight days then she’s not around. If she’s not around, she’s been abducted. Therefore, let’s play the waiting game, let’s wait until the abductors come to us and ask for a ransom,” he said. 

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

Initially, authorities could only inform the family that a body of a young girl had been discovered as a formal identification had yet to take place. 

However, Meabh Quoirin knew “immediately” that it was Nóra. 

Immediately, we knew and I can still hear myself screaming no at the police officers. We had to face the inevitable and within a matter of hours we were taken in a police convoy to the hospital where we had to identify Nora.

Inquest

Since Nóra’s death the family have been calling on Malaysian authorities to open an inquest into the case, as they believe that she was, in fact, abducted. 

“We believe she was abducted. We believe she was kept in the jungle for the time she was missing. We don’t really feel it’s helpful to speculate beyond that because there are many theories as to why and what exactly happened. At this stage, what’s important for us is to let the police do their job,” Meabh Quoirin said. 

However, earlier this month Malaysian authorities classified Nora’s death as “no further action” (NFA), according to charity the Lucie Blackman Trust, which is supporting the London teenager’s family. This means there are no plans for an inquest to be held. 

This is something that came as a “shock” to the family. 

Nóra’s parents were visited by Malaysian government officials in the days that following the discovery of Nóra’s body. They said they were promised by the Deputy Prime Minister that there would be “full transparency in the case”. 

“She said everything would be done by the Malaysian authorities to find the truth,” Sebastian Quoirin said. 

However, they claim they “haven’t heard a single word” about fresh investigations since leaving the country. 

Sebastian Quoirin said: 

It’s why the inquest is absolutely critical because without the inquest the case is closed and if the case is closed there will be no truth and we will be deprived from justice. 

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