Vigil in memory of Bruna Fonseca to take place on Sunday

A special vigil in memory of a Brazilian woman found beaten and strangled in Cork on New Year’s Day will be held on Sunday morning.

he vigil will take place for Bruna Fonseca, and all victims of violence in Ireland, as the body of the 28 year old librarian was released back to her family for repatriation to South America.

The body of Ms Fonseca was released from Cork Morgue to her heartbroken family just 48 hours after a fundraising appeal for her funeral costs soared to almost €55,000, some €25,000 more than its target.

Friends and family of Ms Fonseca are now organising the special vigil in her memory in Cork on Sunday.

The vigil will be staged at 10am at The Lough with all those attending urged to wear white.

People have also been urged to carry candles and white roses.

Prayers will be offered at the vigil for Bruna and for all those, especially women, who have died in violent circumstances.

Women’s groups, politicians, anti-violence campaigners and members of Cork’s tightknit Brazilian community are expected to be strongly represented.

The GoFundMe appeal was launched by friends and family of Ms Fonseca to ensure the body of the 28-year-old university graduate can be flown back to her native Brazil home for Requiem Mass and burial.

Maria Luiza Fonseca launched the appeal with the aim of raising €30,000 but was astounded when it soared to almost €55,000.

“The fundraising is to send back Bruna Fonseca’s body to Brazil,” she explained in the appeal notice.

Ms Fonseca, who was from Formiga in Brazil, travelled to Ireland last year for work.

She was employed by BidVest-Noonan Contractor Cleaners.

She had graduated from university in Brazil and had worked for a time as a librarian before deciding to relocate to Ireland last September.

Her work in Cork included duties at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) which is located less than 100 metres from where her body was found at 6.30am on New Year’s Day.

Gardaí and paramedics attended the Liberty Street flat at 6.30am on New Year’s Day but efforts to revive the young woman failed and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

A post mortem examination was conducted at Cork University Hospital (CUH) by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster on Sunday afternoon.

Gardaí have withheld the post mortem findings for operational reasons.

However, it confirmed that Ms Fonseca met a violent death.

Her body was found in an upstairs flat at Liberty Street in Cork city centre just a couple of hours after she had gone out with friends to celebrate New Year’s Eve.

The flat involved is located just 100 metres from the Bridewell Garda Station and around the corner from Cork Courthouse on Washington Street.

Ms Fonseca’s body was found on a bed in an upstairs bedroom at the flat which is located above Picasso’s hair salon.

Gardaí have appointed a family liaison officer to assist her family in Brazil.

The garda investigation includes an analysis of hours of CCTV footage from premises around Cork city centre, door-to-door inquiries and exhaustive forensic tests at the Liberty Street flat where Ms Fonseca’s body was discovered.

Social media postings are also set to play a critical role in the garda investigation in terms of tracking Ms Fonseca’s last known movements.

In a tribute, both MUH and Bidvest Noonan hailed Ms Fonseca as a diligent worker – and said they were “saddened and shocked” at her death.

“Even though she was only working for a short time for the company at the hospital she was considered a hard and diligent worker and an esteemed colleague. We extend our deepest condolences to her friends in Cork, and her family and friends in Brazil. May she rest in peace.”

Ms Fonseca’s former partner, Miller Pacheco (29), was charged with her murder before a special sitting of Cork District Court on Monday.

Pacheco – who had an address at Liberty Street in Cork – was remanded in custody to appear again before Cork District Court by video link on January 9.

He did not speak during the brief court hearing.


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