Jill Meagher murder: Man appears in Melbourne court

Jill Meagher Jill Meagher was killed after a night out with colleagues

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A 41-year-old man has been charged with the rape and murder of Irish woman Jill Meagher in Australia.

The body of the 29-year-old, originally from Drogheda, County Louth, was found in a shallow grave by a dirt road about 30 miles north west of Melbourne.

Mrs Meagher, who worked for ABC radio, went missing in Melbourne a week ago after a night out with colleagues.

Adrian Bayley, who is from the suburb of Coburg, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court overnight.

Speaking outside the courtroom, Mrs Meagher's husband Tom told ABC news the family were overwhelmed by the support they had received.

"Despite the fact this is the worst thing we'll ever go through in our lives, I've been really humbled by the support of the Australian public, the tireless efforts of the police and all the friends and family who put their lives on hold to help us out," he said.

The couple moved to Australia from Ireland three years ago.

In a statement, her uncle, Michael McKeon, said the family was devastated.

"We are heartbroken. She was the first grandchild my mother had and her aunts, uncles and cousins are powerless to describe their loss," he said.

"There are no words to describe how we feel at what has happened."

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