Jill Meagher (Gillian Edie Meagher)

Jill Meagher

Gillian “Jill” Meagher was born as Gillian McKeon on 30 October 1982 in Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland. She spent her early childhood in Termonfeckin village to the north of Drogheda. Jill Meagher first moved to Australia when she was aged 9 when her father, George McKeon, worked in Perth. She spent several years in Perth, in which time she attended Bull Creek Primary School and Rossmoyne High School before returning to Ireland with her family in 1996. Back in Ireland, she attended Drogheda Grammar School and Saint Oliver’s Community College in Drogheda before graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree from University College Dublin. After graduation, she worked for the Irish national broadcaster RTE. Meagher did not formally move to Australia until 2009 after she met and married Tom Meagher in Ireland in 2008. After arriving in Australia, she settled in Melbourne and began working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). She stayed in touch with her parents who were by then living again in Perth. In September 2012, she had come back to Melbourne after visiting her father in Perth when he had a bout of ill health. Jill Meagher worked for the ABC in an administrative and occasional on-air role at the 774 ABC Melbourne radio station.

After work on 21 September 2012, JIll Meagher went with co-workers from ABC Melbourne to the Brunswick Green bar in Sydney Road, Brunswick, later moving to Bar Etiquette (also in Sydney Road and now closed). She left the bar at around 1:30 am and began the short walk back to the home she shared with her husband. While walking home Meagher called her brother, Michael McKeon, and spoke with him briefly about their father. At their flat her husband woke to realise she was not home and started searching for her. When she could not be found or contacted by phone, he contacted the police. In the days after she went missing, Meagher’s ABC colleagues used Twitter to help in the search for her. A Facebook page, “Help us Find Jill Meagher” (now defunct), was started on 23 September in the hope of finding her alive. A poster campaign was also launched. By 27 September, five days after her disappearance, the Facebook page had received over 100,000 “likes”. The public soon became aware of the search, primarily through the growing number of media reports and the Facebook page. On 24 September, Meagher’s handbag was found by police in a laneway near Hope Street, Brunswick. This was close to where she lived. Police were suspicious as to how it came to be there because the area had previously been searched by them.

On 25 September, closed-circuit television (CCTV) video was handed to and then released by Victoria Police. The video was handed to them by an employee of the Duchess Boutique, a bridal shop based on Sydney Road near Hope Street. It had been recorded from within the shop but had a limited view of the street through its front windows. It thus showed her speaking to a man in a blue hoodie at around 1:42 am on the night she disappeared. At one point she brandishes her mobile phone at him. The man had also been filmed walking outside the shop four minutes earlier. This was the last known time that Meagher was captured on camera. Adrian Ernest Bayley pleaded guilty to Jill Meagher’s rape and murder in April 2013. He was sentenced to life imprisonment with a 35-year non-parole period. His bid to appeal his minimum term, in September 2013, was unsuccessful. In May 2015, Bayley was sentenced to another 18 years and his non-parole period was extended from 35 to 43 years for three other rape convictions. In July 2016, the sentence was reduced to 40 years, deducting three years of the term, making Bayley eligible for parole in 2055.

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Born

  • October, 27, 1983
  • Ireland
  • Drogheda, County Louth

Died

  • September, 21, 2012
  • Australia
  • Brunswick, Victoria

Cause of Death

  • strangulation

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