'The best brother you could ever have' - heartbreak continues for family of Pat Heeran
The ongoing search for missing man Pat Heeran (48) continued near his home this week as gardai confirmed the investigation has been upgraded to murder.
He has been missing since 2011.
In 2014 his heartbroken family made an appeal for the return of his remains so they could have a funeral for him.
Paul Williams visited Mr Heeran’s home in 2014 and met with his devastated family as part of a special report for Independent.ie.
Mr Heeran’s sister Sheila McCrann and Dooreen Keegan said he fell in with a bad crowd after returning from Holland in 2004.
He had a drug addiction but with the help of his doctor he managed to get off heroin Sheila said.
“I’ve always said this he was no saint but he was the best brother you could ever have, a lovely uncle... and a friend,” she said.
Her brother had a wild streak but “it was never anything more than that… there was no badness to him, he would never hurt anyone” she added describing him as “kind”.
A friend of Mr Heeran’s, Stephen Flynn, said his friend was “nervous and afraid” at the time of his disappearance.
“What he was afraid of or who he was afraid of I don’t know,” he said.
This week gardai confirmed that the probe into Mr Heeran’s disappearance was upgraded to a murder investigation last October – five years after the 48-year-old was reported missing.
A search took place this week in meadow and forestry directly opposite Mr Heeran’s home. He lived alone at Cois Easa, a small development in the village of Aughavas near Mohill.
Inspector Ray Mulderring said they were searching for remains, clothing and Mr Herran’s phone which through telephonic technology they know was used in the vicinity of the missing man’s home after the last know sighting on October 3, 2011. Mr Heeran was caught on CCTV at Baxter’s supermarket Mohill on 4.20pm but the items he bought were found in his home.
Gardai say that Mr Heeran left his home in circumstances which suggested he “did not plan on leaving for an extended period”. The television and lights had been left on and an open can of cider and cigarettes were left on the table. Inspector Mulderring said there was no evidence that he had been forced from the house at gunpoint and no sign of violence there.
Detectives pointed out that Mr Heeran had no prior history of going missing and had no recorded history of mental illness.