Wed, 02 Dec, 2020 – 07:00
The tormented families of more than 800 missing people in Ireland are to speak out as part of Missing Persons Day.
Every year since the inaugural national Missing Persons Day in 2013, a ceremony has taken place on the first Wednesday of December in order to bring attention to those who have disappeared across the country over the decades.
The day came about after campaigning from the likes of RTÉ journalist Barry Cummins, as well as students from Davis College in Mallow, Co Cork, who captured national and even international acclaim for their Forget Me Not project.
Led by teachers Kathy Kilgannon and Siobhan Murray, pupils collected over 12,000 signatures and launched a missing persons calendar to be sold in Tesco, before being granted an audience with then-taoiseach Enda Kenny and justice minister Alan Shatter.
They were invited to the inaugural Missing Persons Day in 2013, and their contribution to society was lauded at the Young Social Innovators awards in 2018.
Munster has seen some of the most inexplicable disappearances in Irish history, including the baffling case of Conor and Sheila Dwyer from Fermoy in 1991.
Conor and Sheila Dwyer, who lived at Chapel Hill in Fermoy, were last seen at St Patrick’s Church in Fermoy on April 30, 1991. Some days later gardaí were notified that the couple were missing, but when they went to the Dwyer home, they found the house secure and all personal items such as clothes, passports, and money still in the house.
Their car, a white Toyota Cressida with the registration number 5797 ZT was not at the house and has not been located in the almost 30 years since, while no trace of the couple has ever been found.
Colin Turner, from Ringaskiddy, has been missing since February 14, 2007.
Aged 33 at the time, he is described as being 5ft 10in, of thin build, with black hair tied in a ponytail. He was wearing black leather jacket, black jeans, black t-shirt, and a baseball cap. He was last seen at Wynnes Hotel, Lower Abbey St, Dublin.
Tina Satchwell, a 45-year-old from Youghal, went missing from her home on Grattan St in the town on March 20, 2017.
Tina is described as 5’ 7’’, of medium build, with blonde, shoulder-length hair and blue eyes. Her family made extensive appeals to no avail.
Patrick O’Donoghue, from Knocknacrohy, Abbeyfeale, Co Limerick, was a 22-year-old fourth-year student at the Limerick Institute of Technology when he was last seen on January 9, 2000, at Whitethorn Drive, Caherdavin Heights, Limerick, where he was renting accommodation.
Frank Courtney, from Tralee, Co Kerry, went missing on February 19, 2002. He is known to have purchased a ticket for a coach to Rosslare and signed to get on the boat for England, but after that no one knows what became of him.
Anyone with information on potential sightings or leads to the hundreds of missing people cases in Ireland are urged to contact gardaí or the National Missing Persons Helpline on 1890 442 552.