Tuesday 19 September 2017

Family of missing Blathnaid now want 'closure' as sea is searched

Ailish O'Hora

Ailish O'Hora

The family of Blathnaid Timothy, who has not been seen since December 14, have admitted they are losing hope that she will be found alive.

"We are not very optimistic . . . at this stage, the possibility is not good," her brother Ronan told the Irish Independent.

"It's unfortunate but what we need now is closure. The focus is on the water but we will have to wait and see."

Searches by the gardai and coast guard for Blathnaid continued yesterday off the coast of Howth, Co Dublin, where the 33-year-old business consultant was last seen in mid-December.

It is understood both the coast guard and the garda water unit are tracking tide movements and interviewing experienced local fishermen in the Howth region.

They are also carrying out low-altitude helicopter searches of the Irish Sea.

The investigation took a new twist at the end of last week after a taxi driver who had driven Blathnaid to Howth on December 14 came forward.

Prior to this, she had been seen last withdrawing €60 from an ATM on Sir John Rogerson's Quay in Dublin city before hailing a black Mercedes taxi.

The driver came forward following a wide-scale media campaign after initial attempts to find him failed.

Registration

While Blathnaid was picked up on CCTV walking on the quay, the camera failed to catch the taxi plate number, or the registration of the car.

Eventually, a team led by Detective Inspector Michael Cryan identified and interviewed the driver on Saturday last.

He confirmed to gardai that he drove Blathnaid to Harbour Road in Howth -- a place she had mentioned many times before her disappearance.

The Trinity College graduate and former Coca-Cola and KPMG executive is originally from Glenamaddy in Co Galway. However, she had been living in Dublin for some years and shared a flat in Smith Hall.

Blathnaid's family and gardai are appealing to people in the Howth region who may have seen her to come forward.

She is described as 5ft 6in tall with medium-length dark brown hair, of thin build and pale complexion.

Anyone with information can contact gardai on 01 6669500.

Irish Independent

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