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Wednesday 3 September 2014

Give us our sons back ‘dead or alive’ pleads dad

Alan O’Keeffe

Published 28/04/2014 | 07:22

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27 Apr 2014; Noel Connor, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
27 Apr 2014; Noel Connor, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Eoin O'Connor and Anthony Keegan
Eoin O'Connor and Anthony Keegan
Missing: Eoin O’Connor

THE father of Eoin O’Connor, one of two missing Dublin men feared murdered in Co Cavan, has made an impassioned plea to the people responsible for their disappearance.

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Noel Connor (57) said their   families want them back, “whether they are dead or alive”.

“I would plead with whoever is responsible not to make things worse and return them to their families,” he told the Herald.

His son Eoin (32) and his life-long friend Anthony Keegan (33) were last seen on Tuesday  when they travelled from Dublin to Co Cavan to reportedly collect a €15,000 drugs debt for a member of a criminal gang. They are believed to have visited a house in Ballyjamesduff.

Before they left Dublin, they told relatives if they did not return later that night that the gardai should be contacted.

Relatives alerted gardai when they failed to return. Gardai received an anonymous call on Wednesday saying the men were murdered and dumped in a field.

Major searches in the Virginia, Ballyjamesduff and Bailieborough areas of Co Cavan were launched after the pair went missing.

Gardai believe that the suspected drug dealer who the two men visited in Ballyjamesduff has since fled north of the border. Detectives do not believe that the dealer, who is aged in his 40s, had anything to do with the disappearance of the two men. Mr Connor, a separated father of four, told the Herald his son wasn’t a dangerous man.

“Eoin was not a serious criminal. He must have been working for bigger guys. He was not ‘a heavy.’  Maybe if he was a bit ‘heavier’ he might not have got into this situation,” he said.

He said his heart goes out to Eoin’s two young daughters, aged 10 and four, who have not been told what has happened.

“He’s been a very good dad to the girls. The only times Eoin has been away has been when he travelled to see Liverpool playing,” he said.

Speaking of those responsible for his son’s disappearance, he said: “I’ll forgive them only because I don’t want this to happen to any other family.”

Searches have  taken place in Co Westmeath after the discovery of the men's Ford Focus at Lough Owel near Mullingar. Gardai believe the car was left there to divert garda attention away from Co Cavan.

It is understood that gardai are also focusing on the activities of an Eastern European gang who have become involved in the drug trade in the region.

Anyone with information should contact Ballymun Garda Station on 01 6664400, the Garda Confidential Telephone line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

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