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Blathnaid hunt: We must find taximan today

Gardai hunting for missing Blathnaid Timothy says it is "of the highest importance" that the taxi driver who picked her up is found today.

Blathnaid's brother expressed disappointment tthat the driver of the black Mercedes that was flagged down by his sister had still not been traced.

"It is surprising that they haven't come forward, but we just have to keep on trying," said Ronan Timothy.

"We can't speculate on anything, but it is important we find that driver to see where Blathnaid was going, and then we can focus the search there.

"We had a very concerted effort distributing flyers yesterday, with people working from 10am until night time, but there is still no word."

Gardai are now in a race against time to find the taxi driver


"It's vitally important that we find this taxi driver today," Detective Inspector Michael Cryan told the Herald.

"There are CCTV cameras which operate on a loop and can only be rewound back a week or two and after a month most of the footage is gone.

"If the CCTV is not available then our job gets a lot harder. Quite a number of drivers have come forward believing the car may be theirs but they were ruled out after viewing the CCTV footage."

According to sources, gardai are now examining if the driver was driving illegally or if he was a foreign national who returned home for Christmas before the appeal was made.

Tommy Gorman, from the National Taxi Driver's Union, has said that there is a possibility the taxi driver was operating without a licence.

"There are so many illegal drivers in the business," he said. "If that was an illegal taxi, it would be rented by a legitimate taxi driver and passed on to an unlicensed driver. We have heard numerous stories of individuals coming in on cheap flights that work illegally in taxis for a few days, with no insurance, and then they fly back home."

The family of Blathnaid, who went missing in Dublin over a week ago, launched a massive flyer campaign.

Speaking to the Herald this morning her brother-in-law, Glyn Murphy, said that they were confident that the vast majority of taxi drivers were now aware of their loved one's disappearance. "The leafleting went well, we distributed over 10,000 flyers so there is a huge amount of awareness out there," he said.

Scores of family, friends and work colleagues gathered in the city centre in a well organised campaign to try to find the taxi driver who picked Blathnaid Timothy up on Sir John Rogerson's Quay at 8pm on Tuesday 14.

Blathnaid, a successful executive who had worked for Coca-Cola and KPMG and Trinity Graduate, is from Glenamaddy, Co Galway. She was living in Dublin, sharing a flat at Smith Hall on Camden Street. She withdrew €60 from the National Irish Bank on Sir Rogerson's Quay before hailing a taxi.

The black Mercedes, which gardai believe headed off in the direction of the city centre, has not been traced. She has not been seen since. The family and gardai have admitted that they have "grave concerns" for her safety.


Blathnaid's brother Ronan and sister Aoife said they had been overwhelmed by the support they were receiving from gardai and all their friends in their quest to find the 33-year-old.

Volunteers travelled all over the city centre with newly printed flyers with a picture and information on Blathnaid to widen the search for her.

"We want to talk to as many taxi drivers as possible, and particularly foreign national taxi drivers because they might not have been listening to the radio or reading the papers and might not know," said Ronan.

Blathnaid is described as 5ft 6in, with medium length dark brown hair; she is described as of thin build with a pale complexion. She was wearing a three- quarter length black wool jacket.

Anybody with information is asked to contact gardai on (01) 6669500 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.