This year is census year and is the thirtieth anniversary of the murder of Joanne Mathers. She was collecting the census returns in Londonderry when she was murdered by the IRA. The 29 year old mother of an infant son had taken the part-time job to earn some extra money.
On April 7, she had just gone to a house on Anderson Crescent in Derry when a man ran up to her, grabbed her clipboard with one hand, put a gun to her head with the other and murdered her.
Lowry Mathers has shunned media attention in all the years after the killing of his wife, but has now broken his silence as the 30th anniversary of her murder approaches
From the News Letter:
“I would now encourage the Historical Enquiries Team to revisit the murder,” he told the Londonderry Sentinel this week.
“Forensics are amazing now compared to 30 years ago. It would be great if they could get somebody for it.”
Mr Mathers said his grief still extends to the loss felt by his son Shane who was just a year-and-10-months when his mother was murdered.
“I don’t care about myself, it’s a shame that he (Shane) had to grow up without his mother. It was a terrible loss for him.
“She wasn’t there to see him achieve many things – to see him come top of the class at Foyle College or at Queen’s University to see him claim his first class honours,” he said.
“Every time I look at him, I see his mother. As far as I am concerned, there was no justice for Shane – no-one was ever convicted. The only thing they told me was that the gun used had been used in two punishment attacks.
“There are boys in Derry or Londonderry, whatever you want to call it, who know who did this.
“Somebody ordered it to be done and the person who carried it out knows exactly what he did.
“The person who ordered this is every bit as guilty as the person who carried it out.
It remains to be seen if the HET makes any progress over the murder of Mrs. Mathers. It seems more than possible that the killers will never be brought to justice. However, to quote Mr. Mathers:
“But there will come a day when they will meet their maker and they will have to answer for it then.”
This author has not written a biography and will not be writing one.