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Wednesday 20 March 2019

Husband 'sick in the stomach' after first visit to Tina search site

Trucker praying hunt for wife ‘turns up nothing’

Tina Satchwell's husband Richard Satchwell
Tina Satchwell's husband Richard Satchwell

Ralph Riegel

The husband of missing woman Tina Satchwell has visited the Cork woodland being intensively searched by gardaí for his wife, as he said he was praying she would be found safe.

Yesterday marked the fourth day of the intensive Garda search operation for the missing 45-year-old at Mitchel's Wood, Castlemartyr, east Cork.

Richard Satchwell visited the site for the first time yesterday as he insisted he still had hope his wife would be found safe.

Supt Colm Noonan is leading a 60-strong search team at the 40-acre woodland, which includes Defence Forces engineering units and a special canine unit from Search Dogs UK.

The wood is being searched following a telephone tip-off to gardaí of potentially significant movements being spotted at the forest in March last year.

Ms Satchwell vanished without trace from her home at Youghal, Co Cork, on March 20, 2017, and her husband has repeatedly insisted he had nothing to do with her disappearance.

Tina Satchwell (46) went missing from her Youghal home in Co Cork on March 20, 2017
Tina Satchwell (46) went missing from her Youghal home in Co Cork on March 20, 2017

"I am not a religious man but at night I am having a little prayer that everything as regards this just turns up nothing," Mr Satchwell told TV3.


"I feel sick - I felt sick driving down here from Youghal and I know it is only a short distance.

"You know, it is a place we have never been - we drove past it on numerous occasions to go to Ballycotton or Garryvoe.

"Obviously, while I was working I had deliveries that I had up around this road but this is the first time I ever stopped off here."

Mr Satchwell said he was very upset at the thought of precisely what gardaí were looking for in Mitchel's Wood.

"Just the basic thought that, it is a possibility, no matter how small, that my wife could be behind them barriers," he said.

"I am sick in the stomach - I would say I have not had three hours sleep since Sunday morning. The only sleep I did get was just nodding off while watching the telly.

"I find it difficult because after getting a phone call from An Garda Síochána on Sunday I know what is happening behind me by those barriers there.

"I am trying to fill myself with hope - I have people say to me, how will you cope if it does turn out to be ... my answer to that is I won't be able to cope."

"[Every night] I am praying and hoping that, like the search in Youghal, it all comes to nothing."

He said the hope that Ms Satchwell will be found is what keeps him going.

The English-born truck driver insisted he does not believe he is a suspect in the case.

"They've [gardaí] not voiced it [that he is not a suspect] - but their actions are different," he said.

"I went into the guards of my own accord, I made a statement and I'm not ashamed to say I was an emotional mess, I did more crying than talking.

"No, I did originally [think I was a suspect] but then originally everything was all raw with her being gone, the house was searched. I was confused and now I feel that I am not [a suspect].

"Anything that the guards ask for, I am providing."

The current search followed a phone call to gardaí from a member of the public after the broadcast last January of an RTÉ 'Prime Time' special on Ms Satchwell's disappearance.

The tip-off indicated activity in the vicinity of Mitchel's Wood in March 2017 which may be significant to the Garda probe.

Irish Independent

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