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No end to pain and searching for families of disappeared

FOURTEEn years ago, on December 8, 2000, Trevor Deely (below) left his Christmas office party, crossed the Grand Canal at Baggot St Bridge and disappeared without trace.

The mystery surrounding his disappearance led to massive publicity and resulted in a sustained nationwide, but unsuccessful, manhunt.

To this day, no credible sightings of Trevor have ever been established and his disappearance remains unsolved.

Last Monday, on the 14th anniversary of his last sighting, his father made a heartfelt and desperate appeal once again to the public for any information about his beloved son. Since that fateful night, 14 long years ago, the Deely family have endured a nightmare that there is no waking from.


For the Deelys, as for the families of other missing persons, it is the uncertainty and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of their loved ones that is most heart-breaking and soul-destroying.

Over the past 30 years a number of persons, mostly women, have gone missing without trace in this country in similar circumstances as Trevor Deely.

Between 1993 and 1998 alone eight young women in Leinster vanished into thin air without explanation. All are now presumed dead, probable murder victims.

Elsewhere, one of the most baffling and disturbing disappearances is that of the missing school boy Philip Cairns. He was 13 years old when he vanished without trace in October, 1986.

He was returning to his school, Colaiste Eanna, a 15 minute walk from his home in Rathfarnham. He was never seen alive again and his body has never been recovered.

I spent almost six months involved in the investigation in to his disappearance.


Sadly, I believe that Philip was abducted and murdered. For many years afterwards I kept in touch with his heartbroken parents and was painfully aware of their ongoing anguish and torment at their terrible loss.

As you read this gardai are searching woodland in Co Laois for the body of another missing person, Fiona Pender.

Fiona was 25-years-old, pregnant which she disappeared without trace from the streets of Tullamore in Co Offaly on August 22, 1996.

Families like the Deelys, the Cairns and the Penders will never stop in their endless quest to locate the remains of their loved ones and give them a final, Christian resting place.

Only then can they find closure and some peace of mind.