Concerns on Limerick-Kerry border for native missing from rural Oz

The baffling disappearance of an Abbeyfeale native living for over 50 years in an exceptionally remote part of the Australia outback has attracted international and Australian headlines - and has caused concern and mystery in his home town according to his cousin, Limerick Councillor Francis Foley.

Paddy Moriarty, 70, left Abbeyfeale for Australia in 1966 and has since worked on a number of cattle stations.

He lived in Larrimah, a hamlet located in Australia's Northern Territory, about 430 kilometres southeast of Darwin. It is home to about a dozen people and there is history of disagreements between some of the locality's few residents.

Mr Moriarty has not been seen since December 16 of last year, when he travelled home on his quad bike with his dog, Kellie, from his local pub, the only bar within 80 kilometres. Barry Sharpe, who runs Mr Moriarty's 'local', became concerned having not seen the Abbeyfeale man for a couple of days as Mr Moriarty was known to stick strictly to routine.

Mr Sharpe paid a visit to the Irishman's house, but could not find Mr Moriarty or his dog and reported him missing on December 19.

Police in Australia are considering his disappearance as suspicious. According to ABC News, police do not have any suspects but their investigation is ongoing. In recent days, a local dam was searched, but no trace was found of Mr Moriarty.

"When they went into his house, everything looked okay and he had ticked off the day he disappeared on the calendar," Cllr Foley said. "Everybody in Abbeyfeale is wondering how he vanished off the face of the earth."

Police consider his missing dog, Kellie, as key to solving the mysterious disappearance and have appealed to anyone who may have found a dog resembling Mr Moriarty's red kelpie to come forward.