Family 'happy to have Aoife back'

Aoife Phelan’s family have issued a statement through local priest Father Gerard Phelan, after the man accused of her murder Robert Corbet was brought before a special sitting of Portlaoise District Court this morning.

The court heard that 24-year-old Corbet, of Sheffield, Timahoe Road, on the outskirts of the town, said “no” and shook his head when charged with murdering Ms Phelan on October 25, the day she disappeared.

“We are happy to have Aoife back with us, her family,” the Phelans said following Mr Colbert’s court appearance.

“Her death has left us sad and heartbroken. She was a loving daughter and sister and we will miss her dearly.

“We are overwhelmed by the support and the kindness we have received over the past two weeks. We would like to thank all the people who helped in searching for Aoife and who have been there for us, especially family members, neighbours, friends and the Ballyroan community.

The family went on to thank gardaí for their efforts in locating Aoife’s body, but have now asked for privacy ahead of the pregnant nanny’s funeral tomorrow.

“We would like to acknowledge the efforts of An Garda Siochana, who have worked tirelessly to have Aoife returned to us.

“We ask now for privacy as we spend our remaining precious time with Aoife today and attend to her funeral tomorrow.”

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