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Family search for pensioner missing a week

THE family of missing pensioner Tom Kennedy have been scouring north Dublin in a desperate search for him after he disappeared a week ago.

They were joined by the Civil Defence and dozens of volunteers as they looked for the 81-year-old in Finglas, Santry and Cabra.

Tom has been missing from Virginia Park, Finglas, since 9.30pm on last Tuesday.

It is thought he went for a walk that night and did not take his phone with him.

His family said he had no plans to meet anyone, and it is out of character for him not to return home.

Claire Kennedy, who is Tom's daughter-in-law, has been leading the search with his sons Vincent, Paul and Bernard.

She told the Herald: "It's been really hard. We've all been on auto-pilot since Tom disappeared. We've been focusing on the search and organising search teams which has been keeping us busy, but the emotion of it all takes over every so often.

"Tom's disappearance has been upgraded to a serious incident now and we've been expanding the search beyond Finglas over the weekend.

"It was hoped that there would be some sign of him on local CCTV but it has yielded no clues.

"Then we thought he might have taken the 40 bus somewhere but the CCTV was corrupted on the night he disappeared.

PRAYING

"We're just praying for a confirmed sighting so that we're not aimlessly searching any more."

Claire, who is married to Tom's son Bernard, said that it is the volunteers and the community spirit that have helped the family over the past week.

"We've had such large search groups over the last few days and we really can't thank everyone enough. You can't beat the community spirit here, everyone has rallied around us.

"We just need to raise awareness and get the posters out there so that hopefully someone might recognise him.

"It's such a heartbreaking situation to be in. But the support from everyone - from our neighbours, the local scouts here in Finglas whose den we use as a base - has made it so much easier."

The family of Alzheimer's sufferer Peggy Mangan, who disappeared last October and whose body was later found in waste ground near the IKEA store in Ballymun, have also come forward to help the Kennedy family.

"Peggy's family have been so helpful, they gave us so much information that we wouldn't have known otherwise, like who to contact and how to organise the search," said Claire.

Tom is between 5ft 3in and 5ft 4in tall and of slim build. He was wearing dark trousers, black shoes, a white polo shirt with blue stripes, a watch and possibly a black raincoat.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact Finglas garda station on 01 6667500.

hnews@herald.ie


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