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Services for Meagher in Melbourne, Ireland

Last updated 20:10 02/10/2012
Jill Meagher
'FOREVER MISSED': A funeral service for slain woman Jill Meagher will be held in Melbourne on Friday. Her parents will then take her ashes to Perth.

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Jill Meagher's loved ones will bid farewell to her in Melbourne and Ireland on Friday.

The Irish-born 29-year-old will be laid to rest at a private service in Melbourne for immediate family and friends.

The private service at 10.30am will be followed by a cremation, Ms Meagher's uncle Michael McKeon told the Irish Independent newspaper.

Her parents George and Edith McKeon will then take her ashes to their home city of Perth.

There will also be a mass to celebrate her life in her hometown of Drogheda, Ireland, about 50km north of Dublin.

"We have decided to hold a memorial mass for her in Drogheda, the town she first called home, on Friday, October 5 so that she can be remembered on both sides of the world on the same day," Mr McKeon told the Irish Independent.

Thousands of people have already signed books of condolences in the town, with Ms Meagher's aunt Catherine McKeon-Halpin telling the newspaper that the books "mean that the people of Drogheda care".

"We are an old family from the town and although most of us have now moved out, the books of condolences mean that people still recognise we're from the town," she said.

"It also means people know it could have been any of their children."

The ABC radio employee went missing while walking to her Brunswick home from a nearby bar in the early hours of Saturday, September 22.

A Facebook page set up to help find Ms Meagher became tribute pages after the 29-year-old's body was found and a suspect charged with her rape and murder early on Friday morning.

A funeral notice by Tobin Brothers said the family expresses its thanks to the community, police and the media.

The notice described Ms Meagher as the much-loved and adored wife of Tom, cherished daughter of George and Edith and beloved sister of Michael.

"Forever in our hearts and forever missed," it says.

About 30,000 people marched in memory of Ms Meagher in Brunswick on Sunday.

Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett said Ms Meagher's death had affected a lot of people.

"She could have been anyone's daughter, sister, brother, so there was a connect there," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"There has been this extraordinary connect which I have heard from so many women who've just walked short distances - 'this could've been me; this could have been you at any time'.

"A lot of people will think twice about whether they're just going to walk 100 metres."

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The committee and members of the Australian Irish Welfare Bureau also offered prayers and condolences to Ms Meagher's family and friends in a funeral notice.

"Gillian, we are deeply saddened by your tragic and unexpected passing which leaves a void in the lives of all those who love you," the notice says.

- AAP

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