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Two fresh digs for missing Irishwoman Fiona Sinnott planned after new information emerges

EXCLUSIVE: Her devastated family believe she may have been killed on the night she disappeared, and buried in a shallow grave nearby

Two fresh digs for missing Fiona Sinnott are planned after her family received new information about where she could be buried.

The mother-of-one has not been seen since leaving Butler’s Pub in Broadway, Co Wexford, on February 9, 1998.

She was treated as a missing person before her case was upgraded to murder in 2005.

Her devastated family, who have never given up searching for her, believe she may have been killed on the night she disappeared, and buried in a shallow grave nearby.

Her sister Diane said Fiona, who would have turned 42 last month, was a devoted mother to daughter Emma and would never have left her. She revealed they received credible information from the public about land that should be searched in the coming weeks.

Speaking exclusively to the Irish Sunday Mirror from her home in Bridgetown, Co Wexford, Diane said: “We have received a few tip offs in recent weeks and there are two areas of land now which we want to search.

Fiona Sinnott pictured with her baby Emma.

One is in a field where cement was put down around the time Fiona disappeared.

We are in constant contact with the guards and we are hoping the searches will happen soon.

“Logistics need to be sorted out first but they are actively looking into these areas and we are confident that it will be looked into very soon. We follow up on any tip off’s and appreciate the public’s help. We will never give up searching for Fiona.”

Diane said there is no way she would have walked out on her young daughter and therefore they believe something sinister happened to her.

She continued: “Fiona was 19 years old and she had an 11-month-old baby and she went out on a quiet night to Butlers and that was the last anyone has ever seen of her.

“We were always a very close family but Fiona and I grew up together and were so close as there was only a year between us.

“Coming up to her disappearance she was looking forward to going on a shopping trip to Waterford for my 21st and stuff for her daughter’s first birthday which was the day after my 21st.

“So we do think she came to a tragic end that night, she didn’t just walk out on her family. She loved her daughter and was proud as punch of her. Emma was getting to the stage where she was starting to stand up on her feet and Fiona said it would be no time before she was running around the place.

“She absolutely doted over Emma.”

Sisters Caroline and Diane with pictures of Fiona and their late dad Pat who died. (Image: P.J.Browne)

Gardai said in the past a motorist saw a male and female on the road near Kisha Cross, Broadway, at around midnight on the night Fiona disappeared.

There were also two males in their late teens or early twenties seen in close proximity.

None of these people have ever come forward and gardai are anxious to trace them or anyone who was in the area at the time. Officers have conducted 459 enquiries and taken 355 statements to date in the case.

Diane added: “We believe that there are people that know what happened. It’s not like she walked out from a pub on to a busy street and took a bus or train, in Butler’s 20 odd years ago you wouldn’t get a taxi from there.

“Anyone who was in the pub that night would have known each other.”

Diane said her mother Mary can no longer go for walks around the area Fiona disappeared as it’s too upsetting.

Her father Pat died in 2004 aged 59 with a broken heart and her sister Caroline died in 2017 at 47.

Diane added: “My mother used to love going down to Lady’s Island to do the pilgrim walk every year as she is a church goer and now she can’t go anywhere near it because she feels very gloomy going down there, and that’s outside her own doorstep.

“It’s around that area that Fiona disappeared so the area is just not the same to her anymore.”

Diane said the passage of time has only made things harder for her family.

She appealed for anyone with information about Fiona, who she described as being “loving and bubbly”, to come forward and end their heartache.

She said: “The family just wants her home and anyone who has any bit of information, regardless of how small, we ask them to come forward.

There is also a €20,000 reward for any information that helps bring her home. As time goes by it gets worse, it’s 10 times harder for us all now than when she first disappeared.

“It’s knowing that she’s out there buried somewhere and our family believe she could be right under our noses too.”

She added: “We would like to thank the locals and the public for all their help, they have been so helpful and supportive.”

Her family are hoping a new podcast, which is due for release in coming weeks, will also help jog people’s memories.

Anyone with information should contact Wexford Garda Station on 053 9165200 or the Finding Fiona Sinnott Facebook page.

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