'Something is definitely not right' - Family's concerns grow as missing dad's phone found in farmyard
Appeal for missing dad after phone found on farm
GARDAI have appealed for volunteers as a massive search operation resumed on the outskirts of Cork city for a man who vanished while returning from a Christmas party with his family.
The partner of Diarmuid Twomey (31) appealed for public assistance in tracing him as fears grow for his safety.
Gardai are now operating in the belief that Mr Towmey may have become ill or been the victim of a freak accident as he attempted to walk home alone.
His phone was discovered in a farmyard with sniffer dogs losing his trace near a rural roadway - prompting speculation he may have secured a lift or a taxi in the early hours of last Sunday morning.
Mr Twomey vanished after he walked his partner to a taxi at 3am last Sunday but then said he wanted to stroll on for a bit because he was feeling unwell.
Ciara Byrne said concern is now growing for Mr Twomey's welfare after Gardai, assisted by sniffer dogs, found her partner's mobile phone near an isolated Cork farmyard on a route he may have taken as a short cut.
She stressed that the disappearance is totally out of character for the Gurranabraher native.
"It’s not like him to disappear, something is definitely not right,” she said.
Mr Twomey had been out celebrating a party for his nephew in Bishopstown on Saturday evening and, accompanied by his partner, had then returned to a relative's home in Churchfield.
"We are trying to figure out what happened and are trying to retrace his footsteps," Ciara said.
"We had a party in Bishopstown and we went back to a house in Churchfield. At about 3am we left to walk and get a taxi. It was the busiest night of the year," she said.
"I got a taxi but Diarmuid said he was feeling sick so he said he'd travel home in another one. He was afraid he might get sick in that one. The motion of the taxi would have made him sick."
"He asked me to leave €20 out on the hall table so he could pay his taxi man. That is the last I heard or seen of him."
Eight hours later, gardai found a mobile phone near an isolated farmyard at Ballinahina.
This was just off the Fair Hill, Blackstone Bridge to Whitechurch Road that Mr Twomey was likely to have walked as he headed home.
They journey, on foot, would have taken 90 minutes.
Sniffer dogs managed to trace Mr Twomey's trail but lost it a short distance from the farmyard near a back road.
"All I can think of is that he might have kept walking to walk it (the sick feeling) off," his partner said.
"We don't know what his phone was doing in the farmyard. It was off his road home so unless he went in there to take a short cut."
"We also don't know if he maybe went in there looking for help."
Gardai said concern for Mr Twomey's welfare is mounting.
They have appealed for public assistance in tracing him and asked anyone who travelled on the Whitechurch or Carrignavar roads early last Sunday morning and who may have spotted someone walking alone to contact them.
Mr Twomey stands 6ft tall, is of stocky build and has dark brown hair.
When last seen he was wearing a blue check design shirt, beige chinos and brown runners.
Gardai specifically hope to talk to any taxi drivers who may have been operating in the area at the time or who may have picked up a fare matching Mr Twomey's description.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Gurranabraher Garda Station on (021) 4946200 or their local gardai.
Dozens of search volunteers resumed walking lands in the Carrignavar and Whitechurch areas this morning in an operation co-ordinated by gardai.
Farmers in the area have all been asked to search their holdings for clues as to Mr Twomey's whereabouts.
In a separate and unrelated search, gardai are trying to trace David Mannix (50) from Baker's Road in Cork.
Mr Mannix was last seen at 9.30am on December 12.
When last spotted, he was wearing a dark green coat, dark trousers and dark shoes.
Mr Mannix was driving a black 2000 Ford Focus with a 'C' registration.
Inspector Gary McPolin said searches will be underway for both men and gardai welcome all support