'My only new year wish is for brother to come home'
THE family of a missing man told yesterday how their only wish for the new year is to hear from him.
Today marks seven weeks since Garvan 'Robert' Milligan (35) went missing from the home he shared in Co Meath with his sister Andrena Milligan-Crahan, her husband Liam and his three-year-old nephew Oisin.
Andrena fought back tears as she pleaded for him to make contact and let his family know that he is OK.
"We just miss you and want you to come home. If there is a problem we can work it out," she said from their home in Wilkinstown, Navan.
She accepts that Mr Milligan may have decided to take time out from the life he had been leading but she, his sister Aisling and their mother Maureen need to know he is alright.
"Christmas has been a nightmare, the only reason I went through with it was for Oisin, I did it for him," she said.
Her mother, who lost her husband last year, travelled from her home in Donegal to Wilkinstown for Christmas Day and the family hoped they might get a phone call or some contact from Mr Milligan that day.
"We had his place set at the table and his presents are still here for him. To look at he was a big, hard guy but really he is soft-hearted. He has a good sense of humour and this is not like him."
She last spoke to her brother on November 15 at the front door of the house. He was going out to buy cigarettes and she was making a trip to Trim. She has not seen him since.
Mr Milligan is employed as a Department of Agriculture official in a meat plant in Duleek in Co Meath but suffers from a bad back and was not in work that day because of his back.
He was also a well-known figure at livestock cattle shows and took pride in his cattle.
When he did not turn up for cattle shows the weekend of November 20, his family reported him missing because they knew something must be wrong.
When Andrena left for Trim she thought he was not quite himself and was going to chat to him when she got home.
Gardai have CCTV stills of him leaving Giles' shop in Longwood, Meath, at around 5.30pm that day, Monday November 15.
He travelled then to Broadford in Kildare where he met a friend and stayed in his company until around 9.30pm.
Mr Milligan was driving a green Suzuki Baleno, which has not been located.
A garda spokesman said: "There has been no sign of the car at all. It could be parked up somewhere in Ireland and we would ask people to keep a special look out for it. It had the registration 98 D 17890."
Gardai have checked the airports, ferry companies and his mobile phone records.
The mobile appears to have been used near Boyle in Roscommon on Tuesday, November 16, but since then the signal has not been detected.
His family has also appealed to anyone who knows where he is to get in touch with them or gardai or with friends and let them know he is safe and well.
"To know that he is OK, those are the words we all need to hear. If there is someone who knows where he is but is not saying it, then they should put themselves in our shoes. . . at least if somebody passes away, you know where they are," Andrena added.