Sunday 18 March 2018

Missing man's family seek Dutch probe

JP Grealis: went missing on October 23, 2008
JP Grealis: went missing on October 23, 2008

Isabel Conway in Amsterdam

THE family of an Irishman who went missing in the Netherlands three years ago want the Dutch courts to force a full police investigation into his disappearance.

Carpenter James Patrick (known as JP) Grealis, from Achill Island, Co Mayo, vanished without trace after leaving a guesthouse to look for work in October 2008.

The 24-year-old single man, described as "happy and always in contact with home" before his disappearance, was last seen in the town of Breda, in the southern Dutch province of Brabant.

He was working as a carpenter on building projects and intending to follow up some 'job leads'.

From the outset the Grealis family never accepted a Dutch police opinion that the missing man left the country deliberately or broke off contact with them because he wanted "to start a new life somewhere else".

They were unhappy with the official answers they received concerning his disappearance.

In the years since his disappearance the Grealis family have made numerous trips to Holland in their search, talking to former workmates and those who met Mr Grealis in local pubs, putting up posters and combing the country for clues.

The local community at Tonragee, Achill Island, raised €20,000 to maintain the hunt for Mr Grealis.

The case has also been featured on primetime Dutch TV crime and missing persons news programmes.

Today Helen Grealis, his older sister, arrived in the Netherlands with a representative of the Limerick-based 'Searching for the Missing' organisation.

During their five-day stay they will put up thousands more posters.

Irish Independent

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