| 7°C Dublin

Fears grow for missing Aoife as mystery deepens

FEARS are mounting for the safety of a missing 30-year-old pregnant woman with gardai admitting her disappearance is a mystery. Gardai were due to examine her phone records today.

Aoife Phelan -- who is four months pregnant -- has not been seen since last Thursday. She was visiting a friend when she received a text message from somebody asking to meet her and has not been seen since.

Gardai are becoming increasingly concerned for her well-being after the last sighting of the childminder in Co Laois.

There have been no confirmed sightings of Aoife, a native of Ballyroan, Co Laois, since she was seen at Colliers Lane in Portlaoise at around 8pm on Thursday,

A senior source said today: "We are not ruling out anything and we are keeping an open mind. There are big concerns for the safety of Aoife."


The alarm was raised after she failed to turn up at her childminding job last Friday morning. Her family reported her missing later that day.

Her family believe she may have arranged a lift from Portlaoise on the night she vanished. They also think her phone was switched off at around 9pm in the Mountmellick area, a short drive from Portlaoise.

This morning gardai were trawling through Aoife's phone and bank records.

Aoife's family yesterday called off a planned search of the area around where she disappeared on the advice of gardai.

Her father Michael (58) and her mother Betty (57) are deeply concerned for her safety. Aoife is the fifth of 12 children.

Her mother said she had not noticed any abrupt change in mood before her daughter's disappearance.

Her dad Michael revealed:

"We have no clue where she is or what has happened."

Gardai in Portlaoise are again appealing to anyone who has any information about Aoife's whereabouts.

She is about 5ft 7in in height, of slim build and has long blonde/sandy coloured hair and blue eyes. When last seen she was wearing jeans, a knitted jumper and carrying a red bomber-style jacket with her.

Anyone who can assist in locating her is asked to contact Portlaoise garda station on 057-8674100, the garda confidential phone line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.