THE mother of Deirdre Jacob has appealed for “help” in their search for her missing daughter.
Speaking this morning as the 15th anniversary of Deirdre’s disappearance approaches, Bernadette Jacob said: “We need help, we really need help to progress the search for Deirdre further.”
Deirdre was 18 at the time of her disappearance and was training to be a schoolteacher.
The teenager disappeared as she walked from Newbridge to the nearby family home in Co Kildare on July 28, 1998.
Speaking today on RTE Radio’s Morning Ireland, Bernadette made a fresh appeal about an unconfirmed sighting of her daughter in Dublin’s city centre just days after she was last seen in Kildare.
“Well there was a sighting in a café in Tara Street in Dublin.
“Two ladies, they were in the café, gave a very good description of a girl who visited the café two days after she disappeared.
“We have never had any information on that even though we did appeal for anybody who might have seen her or who might have known anything about a person of that description who was there but nothing has come of that as yet.”
Even though her daughter disappeared 15 years ago, Bernadette Jacob said it’s as if it just happened yesterday.
“Every anniversary is difficult, every day is difficult - and I suppose 15 years seems a very long time.
“Well in some ways it’s a very long time in that we haven’t seen Deirdre and she’s missing.
“But at the same time because it’s with us all the time, it seems like as if it was yesterday in another way.”
Deirdre’s family appealed today for any information on her disappearance – Crimestoppers are also offering a reward.
“Well the passage of time, and people might feel differently now, they might have information that maybe they didn’t want to talk about or they didn’t want to disclose.
“Or now they’re older and they feel different about things and we’re just hoping and looking for information.
“We need help, we really need help to progress the search for Deirdre further,” she said.
Deirdre was last seen inside the gate to the family’s home after walking back there from Newbridge.
“I spoke with Deirdre in the morning time. I was gone to work and I spoke with her on the phone,” her mother recalled this morning.
“She left here at about ten to one to walk into Newbridge. She visited my mother at her shop and spent a little time there.
“Then she went up to the AIB bank. She went to purchase a bank draft to send to one of her friends in the UK. It was a deposit for their house for the following college year.
“And she went from the AIB then over to the post office to post the letter to her friend in the UK,
“She called into my mother again and walked home. There were different sightings of her on the walk home and the last sighting was as she came in our gate.”
There have been no official sightings of Deirdre since.
Today, Crimestoppers and Deirdre’s family have issued a new appeal for information surrounding her disappearance.
A series of new posters have been issued, with Deirdre’s family selecting the photographs.
Previously, images of Deirdre have been digitally enhanced to show what she would look like now – but her family have opted to show three other pictures on today’s appeal.
“That was done previously, it’s not on a poster today but it has been done already.
“But we felt that there are three photographs on poster today, we felt that they are very good pictures of Deridre and ones that we like in particular.”
When asked about any possible connections between her daughter’s disappearance and other women who went missing in the Leinster area in the late nineties, Mrs Jacob said they are only focussed on finding their daughter.
“Well the way we look at it is [that] Deirdre is missing and we’re looking for her.
“Any connection, we don’t even consider that.
“We’re looking for Deirdre and we’re completely focussed on that and what might have happened her. We don’t look at the other cases in relation to Deirdre
“No we haven’t [a theory]. We are no wiser today than on the day she went missing.
“And we really don’t know what happened to Deirdre so that’s why we’re appealing for information for any help we might get.
“As far as we’re concerned, Deirdre arrived at our gateway and then we have no idea what happened to her after that. It’s as if she just vanished at that point.
“We would like to appeal to people to just try and remember back, is there anything at all that you can think of that would help us to search for Deirdre.
“Something that didn’t seem important at the time that now with the passage of time and different things that have happened that maybe there’s something that maybe would help us and to please contact the gardai as we really need help at this stage
Anybody with information are asked to contact gardai in Newbridge or the Garda Confidential line 1800 666 111