First snaps of Dublin woman Ruth Lawrence before she was arrested in connection with Meath double murder
- 8:00, 16 Oct 2022
HERE is Dublin woman Ruth Lawrence before she was arrested in connection with a double murder.
Our exclusive snap shows Lawrence, 42, from Clontarf, north Dublin, promoting her work as a tattoo artist in the Gauteng region of South Africa in 2019.
But unknown to her customers, she was wanted in Ireland over the 2014 murders of Eoin O’Connor, 32, and Anthony Keegan, 33.
The pals were found wrapped in plastic sheeting and buried in a shallow grave on Inchicup Island, Lough Sheelin, Co Meath.
At the time the pic was taken, Lawrence had grown her hair and dyed it black with blue stripes.
Other photos obtained by us show her when she was living in Ireland.
But when she was detained on October 4 after an international warrant was issued for her arrest, the Dublin woman’s appearance had changed again.
At the time of her arrest she had been living in the city of Pellissier.
A warrant was also issued for her ex-partner Neville Van Westhuizen, 39.
No decision has been made on executing the warrant for Van Westhuizen.
Lawrence has now been remanded in custody after she agreed to be extradited to Ireland.
One investigator in South Africa told us: “She had completely changed from the last time she was seen in Ireland.
“The only profile she had was on social media to promote the business she was working in but there was never any mention of her surname.
“The fact that someone from Ireland has been arrested in South Africa for a very serious crime shows the importance of international cooperation.”
Eoin O’Connor’s brother Brian responded to the development in the eight-year investigation.
Brian said: “The family are pleased an arrest has been made in the investigation. We are also pleased that the woman arrested in South Africa has agreed to be extradited to Ireland.
“This is an important development for us but we also have mixed feelings because my mam passed away before seeing such a development.
“We said from the very start that we would keep fighting for justice for the boys and we await to see what the next development is.”
During her appearance in court last week, Lawrence consented to extradition to Ireland to stand trial.
The court heard she will be flown back to Ireland when the paperwork has been completed. She is due to appear in court again on November 14.
National Prosecuting Authority spokesman Phaladi Shuping confirmed: “The case has been postponed until next month for the South African and Irish authorities to work on logistical arrangements on how she will be handed to Irish officials by SA.”
Lawrence was arrested in Pellissier, Bloemfontein, by an elite police unit known as ‘The Hawks’.
Over the next four weeks, officers from Kells Garda station will work closely with the South African authorities to finalise arrangements.
Gardai are also keeping the families of Eoin and Anthony informed of any developments.
Before she passed away, Eoin’s mum Jean told of her fight for justice.
She said: “Our worlds have been ripped apart and two innocent children have been robbed of a future with a loving father.
“No one deserves to lose their life in that way.”