Monday 18 December 2017

Mother died not knowing fate of daughter missing since 1994

Samantha Keegan attends a vigil with family and friends for her missing auntie, Imelda Keenan. Photo: James Flynn
Samantha Keegan attends a vigil with family and friends for her missing auntie, Imelda Keenan. Photo: James Flynn

Eoghan MacConnell

THE family of a woman who has been missing for 20 years have made an emotional appeal for information about her whereabouts.

Imelda Keenan's eldest brother, Donal, got on his knees and begged for the return of his sister during a graveside ceremony in Co Laois yesterday.

On January 3, 1994, the 22-year-old Mountmellick woman vanished in Waterford city where she had attended the Central Technical Institute.

Family members marked the anniversary of her disappearance with a fresh appeal at their parent's graveside in St Joseph's cemetery in Mountmellick. Another brother, Gerry, also held a ceremony in Waterford.

Imelda's mother, Elizabeth, died in 2008 not knowing what became of her daughter.

"I don't think mammy could rest in peace. Every mother likes to know where her baby is. That's what we want to know, we need our sister," said Donal.

Kneeling at their grave, Donal tearfully said "on my knees I beg you, just give us our sister".

He added: "We are not looking for justice for Imelda, we are looking for Imelda. We do not wish for anyone to be held to account for what may or may not have happened to Imelda, we just want Imelda.

"Any person or persons -- over 20 years now -- that remain silent, we realise and fully understand the difficulty that this is for you now to be asked to break your silence," he added.

"Closure for you and closure for the Keenan family is what's at stake."

Imelda's niece, Regina Kerry, appealed to those with any shred of information to come forward. She said gardai were taking a fresh look at the case.

"They are starting again basically, they are going back 20 years, starting the case again and talking to everybody -- family, friends, relatives, anybody that knew her," she explained.

Local Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan attended the ceremony. "I would be very anxious that the State offer their full support to the Keenan family," he said.

Prayers will be said for Imelda at St Joseph's Church in Mountmellick at 7.30pm today.

Irish Independent

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