MORE than 150 volunteers joined gardai and search and rescue teams today to search fields and marshes in north Dublin as fears grew for the safety of missing mother of three, Peggy Mangan, and her dog, Casper.
Mrs Mangan, 65, suffers from Alzheimers. She left her home on Mount Tallant Avenue in Terenure at 11am on Tuesday morning to walk her King Charles spaniel.
Gardai launched today’s search after concluding that CCTV footage of a woman walking her dog in the Lanesborough area of Finglas at around 10pm last Tuesday night was more than likely Mrs Mangan.
The community CCTV footage in the Lanesborough area of Finglas is the last known sighting of her and Garda rescue teams are focussing the search within a 3.5 kilometre radius of that spot. At 3pm rescue teams and volunteers fanned out across fields and marshes beyond.
Mrs Mangan’s son, Jon, earlier paid tribute to the huge response to her family’s appeals for help in finding her.
“I know my mother would appreciate it and my family absolutely appreciates it,” he said. “The community support out here has been nothing short of spectacular.”
Jon said his mother, who raised three children of her own, is a caring person who has looked after lots of children in Terenure over the years. She developed Alzheimers in the last four to five years.
She adored her 10 year old King Charles Spaniel, Casper: “The dog was her best friend,” he told the Sunday Independent.
Last Tuesday morning, she left their home to take the dog for a walk and was seen with him at various points in the city later on Tuesday. A slight woman of five foot two, she wore a white jacket and black trousers.
She was seen later that day on Clanbrassil Street in the south inner city at around mid-day, in Finglas at around 3pm and at the Topaz Station in Glasnevin at 6.50pm.
She did not take her mobile phone, or cash or even a bus pass with her and it is believed that she walked all the way from Terenure in south Dublin to Finglas on the north side. She has also been without medication for her illness for several days now.
“She is fit and she is lean, but she is physically strong,” said Jon. He asked people keeping an eye out for her, but to bear in mind that while she left home with her dog, “people should not rule out the fact that there is the possibility that she could be on her own now.”
“If anyone sees her, I would ask that they could talk to her, could stay with her, or to follow her if they have to,” he said.
While Gardai and civil defence orchestrated a forensic search of the area, the voluntary effort was orchestrated by her son-in-law’s family.
Peggy’s son in law Darragh works at DID electrical in Finglas, which is close to the area where she was last seen. The electrical store became a volunteer base yesterday as local people turned out in their droves offering to help.
Carol Barr, Robert Moran and Siobhan Brady, all from Finglas, said they were moved to join the search after hearing the appeal for help.
“If it was my parent I would like to think someone was out looking for her,” said Siobhan Brady.
Gardai have appealed for members of the public for help. Anyone with information can contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or Terenure garda station on (01) 666 6400.