Sharon McCrea, whose father Gary brutally murdered her mother Dolores, says the family are glad they took part in a tv programme on the murder.
This year’s first episode of 24 Hours to Kill unflinchingly reconstructed the events leading up to the murder, which horrified Donegal and the entire nation. After killing his estranged wife on January 20, 2004 at the former family home at Ballybulgin, Laghey, McCrea tried to destroy the evidence by burning her body on a massive pyre. He was convicted of murder in November, 2005 and sentenced to life in prison. He has never admitted what he did and was refused parole in September.
Speaking to the Democrat yesterday, Sharon, now 29, said: “It was very emotional and very difficult to watch. It kind of brought you back there.
“We were all very nervous about how they would tell our story but we were very satisfied with how it came out and glad we did it. We felt my mum was portrayed as the wonderful woman she was, and that they showed exactly what he was like and what we endured.
“It’s a kind of relief that people now know what went on. That this wasn’t a random thing: it was something that went on over the years and built up.
“This is the first time that any of the family have ever spoken to the media about it, and it’s also a bit of a relief to get it all out there - maybe it’s part of the healing process.
“I don’t know how I thought people would react but everyone has been so nice. The calls and texts were unbelievable. Everyone’s phone was red hot on Monday night and Tuesday. The support was amazing. Everyone felt this was something that needed to be done.
“My hopes for the future? That we can all keep getting on with our lives and that he won’t ever get out and be in a position to disrupt our lives.”