Zarah (7), Nadia (2) and their mother Sharon
Ten years after the murders of Sharon Whelan and her daughters Nadia (2) and Zarah (7) a very special Mass of remembrance will take place at St Mary’s Cathedral.
Sharon and her daughters were murdered at their home close to the village of Windgap on Christmas Eve, 2008. Brian Hennessy was convicted of all three murders and was refused parole earlier this year.
Sharon's brother, John who has campaigned tirelessly for changes to sentencing in relation to homicide and parole hearings said that his family had 'a small bit of respite' in knowing that the murderer will not be considered for parole for another three years.
The Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Dermot Farrell and will be in memory of all victims of homicide. The Whelan family are asking people to attend in memory of all victims of homicide.
“We are asking people to come along and to stand with us in support and to offer solidarity to each other. The invitation extends to everyone and we are hoping that people will bring photographs and candles in memory of loved ones who have died by homicide,” said John Whelan.
“It doesn't get any easier - we have missed so many milestones - Communions and Confirmations and of course every Christmas.
“The pain and the hurt is there all the time and it still feels like yesterday. It doesn't make it easier having to fight tooth and nail to highlight the need for mandatory minimum sentences.
“We need reform of the justice system so there is more equality for victims and their families,” he added. “A life sentence should mean just that - life.
“This Christmas will be 10 years since we lost Sharon and the girls, it's so hard to believe ten years have passed,” he said.
The Mass will take place at 4pm on December 1.