What killed Kenyan student in Dublin, Ireland?

'Don't assume it's suicide': Family of student who died in Ireland

What you need to know:

  • 23-year-old Brigid Jemosop died under mysterious circumstances three days after (a week ago) landing in Dublin, Ireland where she had been studying and working for the last eight months.
  • Family says contrary to rumours she did not commit suicide and wants the case thoroughly investigated.

A Baringo family is seeking justice for their 23-year-old daughter who died under mysterious circumstances three days after landing in Dublin, Ireland where she was studying.

The deceased who left Kenya for Ireland eight months ago to pursue further studies travelled to Kenya for a one-week vacation last month, only to die three days after landing in Dublin two weeks ago.

On January 27, Brigid Jemosop, 23, from Kabargoge village in Baringo North landed at the Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in Nairobi from Dublin, Ireland, where she had been for the last eight months.

Brigid Jemosop Kandie from Kabargoge in Baringo North with her mother Sarah Kandie at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) on June 4, 2023, when she first went to Dublin, Ireland for studies.

She was to spend a one-week break in Kenya, before going back to continue with her Bachelor's in nursing studies as she worked part-time.

According to family members, she was in high spirits when they received her at the airport and had spent a few days in Nairobi and Mombasa before visiting her home in Kabarnet, Baringo Central.

On February 6, she travelled to Nairobi to catch a flight the following day to Ireland, after visiting several of her relatives in her rural home.

Her mother Sarah Kandie says her last born in a family of four was escorted to the airport by her sisters and some of her relatives and had called informing them that she had reached her destination safely.

Brigid enroute to Kenya from Dublin, Ireland two weeks ago.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Family

After two days, the mother of four said her daughter also called, informing her that she was at the airport in Dublin, receiving some girls from Kabarnet who were also going there for studies, and she was to host them.

On February 11, just three days after arriving in Ireland, she said that Brigid called her at around 5.08 pm, claiming that she wanted to talk to her brother, who didn’t have a phone at the time.

“I handed the phone to her brother and I sensed that something was amiss. A few minutes later, I noticed that her brother, who had moved some distance away from me, was crying and I snatched the phone and asked her what was wrong.

She indicated that she was stressed but insisted that it had nothing to do with money. She told me that her boyfriend had allegedly locked her in the house, yet she was supposed to go to work,” narrated Ms Kandie.

She also claimed that she feared for her life, alleging that the said boyfriend had earlier threatened to stab her.

According to her mother, she said her boyfriend had tried to stab her a day before. However, she insisted that she would handle the case herself.

“I informed her to call the authorities and she said she had already done so. I also advised her to inform the same student from Kabarnet, who was also living with her in the same city but she claimed she would handle it,” narrated the mother.

That was the last the family heard from her, only receiving news two days later from relatives and friends that she was no more after unsuccessfully trying to reach her on the phone.

Nation.Africa visited the family’s Kaprogonya home on the outskirts of Kabarnet town on Monday to find a sombre mood.

Jemosop’s family and relatives were in shock, memories of the one-week get-together with their daughter now lying dead abroad still fresh. What now remains are pictures they took while having fun with her at home and seeing her off at the airport two weeks ago.

“I am pleading with the government to get justice for my daughter, who died just after arriving in Dublin. For the few days she spent with us, she did not look disturbed or sick and I even accompanied her as she shopped for stuff she was taking back with her,” her distraught mother said.

Dublin - Mombasa

Brigid Jemosop Kandie during a vacation in Mombasa two weeks ago.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Family

“My daughter was a sociable person and everyone wanted to hang out with her. I am still shocked by the circumstances surrounding her death,” said the distressed mother.

Brigid, her last-born daughter completed her secondary school education in 2018 and later joined the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC) in Nairobi to study nursing.

In June last year, she secured an opportunity to go to Dublin to advance her studies and work at the same time.

“She called me last month saying that she wanted to come home and greet us,” said Ms Kandie, noting that she was received by her sisters at JKIA and was very okay.

According to the family members, her friends in Dublin claimed she allegedly committed suicide and succumbed while being attended to at a health facility.

“We have not received any formal communication from the authorities in Ireland on the circumstances surrounding her death.

They insisted on a family member going there so that they could release the results of the autopsy and also release the body for repatriation and we are pleading for help because we have to look for money to facilitate our travel there,” her mother said.

The deceased’s elder brother Victor Kiprotich said he talked to his younger sister on Sunday, February 11, after she called and asked their mother to hand the phone to him.

“She gave me the phone and Brigid insisted that I first move a distance from where my mother was because we needed to talk, which I did. We are so fond of each other but that day she seemed to be in very low spirits. Immediately we started talking she broke down crying, claiming that she was very disturbed and that she had been locked inside the house by her boyfriend who had left,” said Mr Kiprotich.

The brother had advised her to call the guards to sort out the issue and she had confirmed that she had done so and that they were on their way.

“I also told her to call her roommates who also hail from Kabarnet but she said it would take them two hours to reach where she was. She told me that if she did not talk to me again, then I should stay rest assured that she loves me, then my mother took the phone from me after realising that our conversation was disturbing,” he noted.

On Monday, he used his mother’s phone to try and reach his sister to follow up on her well-being but he received no response. Her sisters also called her but she was not responding to their calls either.

Her elder sister Britney Kandie said that she spent a few days with her in Nairobi.

“Brigid was so happy all through her one-week stay before leaving for Dublin. I saw her off at JKIA and she called me upon arrival in Ireland on Thursday. On Monday at 4 pm, I texted her on Sunday, and the responses I was receiving seemed to be from a different person.

Brigid was so casual in replying to her messages and she liked using Swahili or Sheng but at that time, the texts were replied in English, were short and very formal,” she said to the elder sister.

“I wanted to know if she was doing fine but she only replied, later. I started to worry because that was very unusual of her. I also called her five times but she wasn’t responding and I left a message informing her to call our mother urgently because she was worried about the previous day’s conversation with her,” added Britney.

After making several calls on Tuesday evening to some students and roommates who were living with Brigid, they finally got information that she was dead and that she had allegedly ingested bleach and died shortly after being attended to at a medical facility on Monday morning.

“Several posts are circulating on social media that our sister died of suicide but as a family, we are yet to ascertain the cause of her death and we are still waiting for a formal communication from the authorities in Dublin. We will be travelling there as instructed and I believe we will be able to know what exactly transpired,” she said.

“We are only appealing to Kenyans to stop speculating on social media platforms that Brigid died of suicide and allow us to mourn as we wait for the verdict from the police. Do not add us more pain,” said her distraught sister.

The family is now calling on the government to help them get justice for their deceased kin and help repatriate the body back home for a decent burial.

“We are reading foul play in the circumstances surrounding her death and we want authorities in Kenya and Dublin to investigate,” said Caroline Jepchirchir, the deceased’s sister.