Sunday 18 March 2018

Cowen has abandoned us, claims missing girl's mum

Gerard Couzens and Breda Heffernan

THE mother of missing schoolgirl Amy Fitzpatrick has vented her fury at the Government after being told a meeting with the Taoiseach was impossible.

Her hopes of talks with Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin during a whirlwind trip back to Ireland were also dealt a blow.

Amy was 15 years old when she vanished on New Year's Day 2008 as she walked home from a friend's house on Spain's Costa del Sol.

Her mother, Audrey, claimed that an official from the Department of Foreign Affairs had emailed her hours before she boarded a flight from Spain yesterday to say both men were out of the country today.

She said she felt the department was "palming her off" by offering her a meeting with two civil servants instead.

She is due to meet Ray Bassett, head of the consular and passport division, and consular assistance worker Mary Cusack this morning.

Ms Fitzpatrick, who has spent nearly €1,000 on return flights to Dublin with partner Dave Mahon, said: "I emailed the department over a week ago requesting a meeting with Micheal Martin and Brian Cowen.

"They assured me everything would be okay and some sort of meeting would take place before I bought the tickets.

"Now I'm being told both men are out of the country . . . I can't understand why they couldn't tell me that last week."

She added: "It's been at least a year-and-a-half since my Government has had any contact with me or Dave to support us emotionally or ask where we are in the campaign.

"I wanted to hear Micheal Martin and Brian Cowen's excuses for abandoning this Irish child and her Irish parents."

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs said Mr Martin will be travelling back to Ireland today from an official visit to Germany and so will miss the meeting with Ms Fitzpatrick.

A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said he will not be out of the country today but has engagements in Carlow and Portlaoise, Co Laois.

She added that his office had never received a request for a meeting from Ms Fitzpatrick and that such a meeting was not in Mr Martin's diary either.

Irish Independent

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