Thursday 17 October 2019

Grandmother of missing Belfast woman who is feared dead makes plea for closure

A search in a forested area of Omeath, Co Louth is underway for Saoirse Smyth, 29, who has been missing since April 2017.

By Rebecca Black, PA

The grandmother of a missing west Belfast woman has pleaded for anyone who knows what happened to her to come forward.

Vera Smyth was speaking as a fresh search for Saoirse Smyth got under way in a forested area in Co Louth.

Police believe 29-year-old Ms Smyth was murdered.

Vera Smyth, the grandmother of Saoirse Smyth (PA)

Speaking on UTV, Ms Smyth said she fears she will die before her granddaughter is found.

“Police told us from the very beginning that she was dead so there is no hope of her walking through that door, we know she is gone,” Ms Symth told UTV.

“What would mean everything to me is that I’m still alive, I might be gone soon, and no one else will worry about her as much as me because I reared her.

Whoever killed her has no conscience. Do they want to think what they are putting her people through? Vera Smyth

“It’s hard, it really is hard.

“It’s unreal, just thinking about it. I mean whoever killed her has no conscience. Do they want to think what they are putting her people through? We have to go through this day in, day out wondering where she is. Not knowing where she is.

“Was she shot, was she stabbed, was she strangled? You don’t know what, and if her body is going to be found, what way it is going to be?” she added.

“Put a closure to this please, that is all we want.”

Officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and An Garda Siochana are working together in the search of a forested area, along with specialist search dogs and forensic archaeologists.

Ms Smyth said she has not been able to face going to Omeath where the search is under way.

“She was seen last in Omeath, this is the last place we think she is,” she added.

Earlier this week, PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Darren McCartney also urged anyone who might be able to help in the investigation to come forward.

“Saoirse had very distinctive red hair and was approximately 5ft tall and of slim build,” he said.

“We are particularly interested in speaking with anyone who had seen Saoirse or was in contact with her since January 2017.”

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