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Ireland's Missing After 35 years of secrecy, the fate of a missing mother could finally emerge

Barbara Walsh was branded a runaway but her children want answers, writes Catherine Fegan

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Barbara’s daughter Jacquie Walsh refuses to give up hope her mother’s case can be solved. Photo: Andrew Downes

Barbara’s daughter Jacquie Walsh refuses to give up hope her mother’s case can be solved. Photo: Andrew Downes

Andrew Downes, XPOSURE

Barbara’s daughter Jacquie Walsh refuses to give up hope her mother’s case can be solved. Photo: Andrew Downes

Secrets, even the ones that stay buried for decades, have a curious way of unravelling. In one rural community in the heart of the Gaeltacht, the disappearance of Barbara Walsh more than 30 years ago was consigned to the annals of history.

Except for an appeal in this newspaper and a report on Raidió na Gaeltachta, the story of the 33-year-old got barely any attention at the time.

The young mother "must have been depressed" became the general theory that quickly emerged. Unable to cope with the struggles of raising seven children, she upped up and left. Case closed.