herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

Tragic aid worker's death still a mystery

POLICE in Ethopia didn't investigate the death of an Irish aid worker who died in a car crash and refused to cooperate with Interpol in a new investigation, an inquest has heard.

Joyce Campbell (inset) died in the summer of 2005 but her mother's nine-year bid for details of what happened and a death certificate has been met with a "wall of silence" from the Ethiopian authorities, she claims.

Irene Campbell says the Government here has failed to help in her search for the truth.

Donegal Coroner John Cannon agreed in 2008 to hold an inquest into Joyce's death but told her family at another hearing yesterday that Interpol had informed him that Ethiopian police did not investigate the car crash and were refusing to co-operate with their inquiries.

At the resumed hearing in Letterkenny yesterday, Mr Cannon said there had been little progress in the investigation.

"It seems there was no police investigation at the time of her death or since," the Coroner told solicitor Frank Dorrian.

"Interpol have made inquiries with the Ethiopian authorities but there has been very little co-operation, in fact none at all."

Joyce (25) had been three weeks into a four-month stay as a volunteer when the car in which she was a passenger crashed six hours from the capital Addis Abbaba.

Two male Irish aid workers were seriously injured in the crash. The Ethiopian driver of the car was also slightly injured.

"Despite the efforts of Gardai and Interpol we are now here nine years later and after 11 adjournments and we still don't have clarity," said Mrs Campbell.

"We do believe Joyce died as a result of a road traffic accident but we'd like to know what day she died and how she died. Did she die instantly or did she die the next day? There are too many unanswered questions."

hnews@herald.ie

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