Sunday 30 April 2017

New search is planned by missing Amy's mum

Amy Fitzpatrick, who went missing in southern Spain, seven years ago
Amy Fitzpatrick, who went missing in southern Spain, seven years ago
Emma Jane Hade

Emma Jane Hade

The mother of missing Amy Fitzpatrick said that parents of children who vanish are joined together by a bond "that nobody else will understand".

Amy Fitzpatrick was just 15 years old when she vanished without a trace in Spain more than seven years ago.

Speaking on International Missing Children's Day, her mother said that she hopes to hold another search for her daughter in the near future.

Audrey Fitzpatrick, who recently wed her partner Dave Mahon, said she is pushing for "another search and a reconstruction" and that this is her "goal" for the coming months.

She was speaking yesterday on the global day of remembrance for children who have gone missing.

"It's like a unity, we are all together," Ms Fitzpatrick said about other families.

"It is a bond between all of us that nobody else will understand. One of the mothers said to me: 'We are all part of a club that nobody else wants to be a member of'."

Aware

Audrey said they will always appeal for information on her whereabouts, but she said she wished people would be more aware of missing children's day.

"A child goes missing every two minutes in the EU, that's a lot of kids," she added.

Gardaí continue to work with the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) and this year they contributed to the global poster campaigning by highlighting the cases of Mary Boyle, Ciara Breen and Rory Ahearn.

All three of them have been missing from their home for decades.

Gardaí said that last year they investigated 7,064 missing children cases, of which only three are still missing.

They said they recognise that missing children "are vulnerable to victimisation, exploitation, violence, criminal activity and in some cases self harm".

Hotline

The Irish Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) runs the Missing Children's Hotline in Ireland. Last year, they received 220 calls to the number.

"Since the setup of the Missing Children's Hotline in 2012, we have worked closely with the gardaí in the promotion of the service and in supporting young people who have been reported missing," Caroline O'Sullivan, the ISPCC Director of Services said.

"The hotline is there to provide support to children, young people and their families."

The ISPCC said that it had a variety of callers to the hotline, including some who were thinking of running away from home.

There were also parents who were calling looking for "advice and support about their child being missing".

Irish Independent

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