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On the 11th of July 1987 Antoinette Smith decided to attend a David Bowie concert at Slane Castle Co. Meath just thirty miles north of Dublin City, with a friend. 27 year old Antoinette left her home in Killmahudderick Court Clondalkin South Dublin that Saturday afternoon and took the 56 bus to O’Connell St in Dublin city with her friend, where they bought tickets for the concert and two David Bowie t-shirts. Antoinette had arranged for her two children to spend that night with their father Karl, leaving her free for the night. Having now purchased their tickets Antoinette and her friend took one of the allocated buses to Slane Castle at roughly 3pm. By 11pm both women had returned to Dublin City from the concert.
The next stop for Antoinette and her friend was a night club known as La Mirage on Parnell St where they met up with two other friends. When the group left the night club at roughly 2am a small argument broke out between Antoinette and the friend she had attended the concert with and Antoinette’s friend decided to return home, but she gave Antoinette a key to her house before she left. By now Antoinette’s two other friends’ decided to also go home, they walked with Antoinette to a taxi rank on O’Connell St where they took a taxi home to Ballymun. The last sighting the two friends had of Antoinette was of her walking towards O’Connell Bridge at 2:30am dressed in a pair of blue jeans and the David Bowie t-shirt she had bought earlier.
On Tuesday the 14th of July Karl Smith, Antoinette’s ex-husband, reported his ex-wife missing at Clondalkin Garda station. Bizarrely Karl was told to go home and return to the station the next day with a photograph of Antoinette. Karl returned to the station the next day with Antoinette’s friend. The friend gave Gardi a detailed account of the events of the previous Saturday night and Sunday morning. Based on the friend’s account The Gardi launched an investigation along with a high profile media campaign, unfortunately no evidence emerged as to what may have happened to Antoinette.
Some ten months after Antoinette had been reported missing on the 3rd of April 1988 a young family where out walking in a remote part of the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains known as Glendoo, when they made a terrifying discovery; that of human remains. At first the Gardi had little idea of who the person was that the family had found. However, the identification of a decomposed David Bowie t-shirt led Gardi to believe that the person may be Antoinette, later a key found with the body was tested on the front door of Antoinette’s friend’s home and it worked thus confirming to the Gardi that the body belonged to Antoinette Smith. A forensic examination of Antoinette’s body concluded that she most likely died through asphyxiation; two plastic bags where found around Antoinette’s head and there was no evidence of trauma. An effort was made to conceal Antoinette’s body but heavy rain had led to the collapse of soil around what appeared to be a makeshift grave.
As the investigation heated up a re-enactment of Antoinette’s movements around the 11th and 12th of July was aired on national television across Ireland which led to the emergence of a potential witness.
The witness was a dog walker who had been walking in an area known as Cruagh Wood on the morning of the 12th of July 1987. Cruagh Wood is located in the Dublin/Wicklow Mountains roughly two miles from Glendoo where Antoinette Smith’s body was found. At roughly 6am the dog walker was making his way up a hill in the woods when suddenly a lone male appeared and they were walking towards him, the lone male stopped for a moment and continued walking towards the dog walker, as the two individuals passed each other the dog walker said hello but got no response from the other man who made an effort to conceal his face by turning it away as he passed the dog walker. The witness described the man as roughly 26 years of age, with a thin face, parted hair and wearing dark clothes, he did not appear to the witness to be dressed for mountain walking and seemed out of place to him. The dog walker noticed that the man was walking towards the car park at the entrance to the woods, he became worried for the safety of his van as there was no other vehicles in the car park he quickly called his three dogs and began walking towards the car park. Whilst walking towards the car park the dog walker noticed that the man was now talking to another man, the men noticed the dog walker behind and began to walk at a faster pace. When the witness reached the car park he could no longer see either of the men and he then drove home. The witness told Gardi that he did not hear any other vehicles driving away from the area and was adamant that he would have heard another vehicle driving away in such an isolated area.
Despite the witness account being publicised nationally through numerous mediums nobody ever came forward to Gardi to offer an explanation for this incident.
Unfortunately it is over 36 years since Antoinette Smith was brutally murdered and nobody has ever been arrested or charged in relation to her murder. There is currently an incident room at Bray Garda Station as the fight for justice for Antoinette Smith continues.
Slane Castle 1987
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