January 10, 2020
“Nora was always laughing and smiling. She had a great sense of humour. She liked quirky jokes – she would make plays on words that would make us all laugh.
Nora Quoirins Family Tell Of Fight For Answers Over Her Death In Malaysian Jungle
“We just miss her so much.”
Meabh Quoirin is telling HuffPost UK about her daughter Nora, who was found dead in the Malaysian jungle in August.
This week the family was told there would be no further investigation into a death they believe was extremely suspicious – not least because of Nora’s physical and mental difficulties.
In August last year, Nora was brimming with excitement as she and her family travelled to Malaysia for the trip of a lifetime.
Parents Meabh and Sebastien, along with Nora and her two siblings, had been to Asia once before, and were eager to return.
Nora, 15, was a sweet, shy and vulnerable teenager who had been born with the brain defect holoprosencephaly. Where some people would baulk at long journeys, she absolutely loved to travel.
Challenged with significant physical and mental difficulties, Nora would rarely leave her mother’s side. She was so timid she would not leave the family’s London home to speak to the neighbours unless someone went with her. 
Perhaps as a consequence of inhabiting a somewhat smaller world than most, her mother Meabh Quoirin told HuffPost UK, Nora was “incredibly curious about the world and in particular about all the different things people would eat in different countries. She absolutely loved that sense of discovery and freedom.”She added: “Getting on planes and trains and incredibly long journeys are painful for most of us, but in her world, she loved every bit of it. She loved talking about it. It was probably one of the most vibrant levels of her levels of curiosity.
“Because otherwise, she couldn’t do hobbies that other children do, never mind children of her own age. She didn’t have a mobile phone. She couldn’t particularly interact with technology or anything like video games. She could read a little but at a very basic level. Her interests were simple and entirely centred around living and family life.”
But excitement turned into panic for the Quoirins in August 2019 when Nora vanished from the holiday jungle resort in Dusun.
Ten days later, the panic became devastation when Nora’s body was discovered less than two miles away, naked and in an area that had already been searched by the Malaysian authorities.
An initial post-mortem examination found she had died from gastro-intestinal bleeding and an ulcer, likely brought on by starvation, stress, or both. Police in Malaysia said they have so far found no evidence of abduction or kidnapping.
The family still haven’t received the full report into Nora’s death – and on Friday received the news that no inquest would be held. The Malaysian authorities have classified Nora’s death as requiring “no further action” (NFA),
Speaking to HuffPost UK, Nora’s mother vowed the family would fight on. 
She said: “We wish we weren’t having to call out in public for what we think is a fundamental basic human right for Nora but unfortunately it’s come to that.
“We understand that an inquest demands resource – it’s not a benign request on our part – but we truly believe it’s a fundamental right of any citizen, in particular of a vulnerable citizen, to have that quest for the truth.“We would expect that a modern country, a fully-fledged democracy such as Malaysia, would really want to show full transparency and their deputy prime minister in person gave us that promise.
“But unfortunately, that’s just not what we’ve experienced, hence the need for an inquest and hence the need for full diplomatic support from our governments. that’s critical at this stage.”
To Meabh and the rest of Nora’s family, the Malaysian police’s version of events is inconceivable. They say the vulnerable teenager simply woke up in the middle of the night, let herself out of the family apartment, went for a stroll and became fatally lost in the jungle.
Meabh said: “She was incredibly, incredibly shy and cautious and had real mobility challenges. We just think it’s basically impossible for her to have negotiated complex jungle terrain.”
The family, which is being supported by the charity The Lucie Blackman Trust, has long felt there is compelling evidence that Nora was taken from the property and has been frustrated by the Malaysian police’s investigations.
She said: “There are various possible ways to explain how she got to where she got to. One primary being that she was taken from the property itself and that’s a first line of inquiry because Nora was sleeping in a mezzanine which meant that the access to her, or for her to leave the building, was actually difficult. It was a complicated staircase that she would have struggled with, particularly with no light available.
“So that’s the first matter. The second is Nora never got up in the middle of the night, never ever, and we just don’t believe that suddenly just because she was in a different place that she would have. It would have happened for the first time.”On the morning of Nora’s disappearance, the family found a downstairs window in their villa wide open. It was later revealed the mechanism was broken, meaning it could have been opened from outside even if the family had thought it was locked.
Meabh told the HuffPost a full forensics team was not assembled at the scene until days after Nora disappeared, “meaning it’s impossible for them to have really make any serious conclusions about that”.
She added: “It’s going to be very difficult to explain everything but Nora deserves the truth and we deserve to know as much as we can possibly find out and we’re determined to stand up for justice in her name.”
What the family do know is that there was no evidence Nora had been abducted or raped, and that her body bore no visible signs of violence. Malaysian authorities have stated she probably died between two and four days before she was found. Her funeral service was held at St Brigid’s church in south Belfast in September, the church where she was baptised.
Meabh said: “The most important factor to take into consideration which we believe the Malaysians are really ignoring is actually who Nora was. We are not dealing with a 15-year-old who was like any other 15-year-old.
“One thing that is fundamental to us is that people don’t often see past people’s disabilities. We don’t listen to the voices of children with special needs.
“Nora made a huge contribution. She was really the tutor at home, teaching us all to be slightly better, nicer people, to be more patient, to be more kind and accepting of everyone. All those things that we all talk about in theory but when you live with someone who dictates that in practice it’s the most wonderful experience.
“It’s quite clear that Nora has touched the world in this tragedy. Her dad and I are absolutely passionate [that] the legacy, the gift that she was to all of us must absolutely live on. Who would we be if we weren’t fighting for justice for her today?”
Nora’s family last month asked the Irish department of foreign affairs for assistance in their quest for answers over the teenager’s death.
A spokesperson said it would “continue to provide ongoing consular assistance in this case.
“In line with department policy, we will not be commenting further.”Related... Nora Quoirin: Funeral Takes Place For ‘Gentle, Innocent’ Girl Who Died In Malaysian Jungle Nora Quoirin's Family Insist There Are 'Dark Areas' And More Questions About Her Mysterious Death Post-Mortem Reveals Nora Quoirin Died Of 'Hunger And Stress' Nora Quoirin: French Police Launch Criminal Investigation Into Teenager's Death Nora Quoirin: Body Found Is British Schoolgirl Who Went Missing In Malaysia How Does A Vulnerable British Schoolgirl Just Vanish Into Thin Air In The Malaysian Forest?
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