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Dublin: 11°C Wednesday 17 August 2022

Family of Galway mother-of-seven, missing for 32 years, make heartrending appeal to know what happened to her

Barbara disappeared from her Connemara home in June 1985.

RTE Prime Time - Missing mother Barbara Walsh before her disapperance in 1985 Barbara Walsh Source: RTÉ Prime Time

THE FAMILY OF a missing mother-of-seven have launched an impassioned appeal for information as to what happened to her, 32 years after she disappeared.

33-year-old Barbara Walsh disappeared from her home at Rusheenamanagh, near Carna, in the Connemara Gaeltacht, in the early hours of 22 June 1985.

In the hours prior to her disappearance a group of around a dozen people, including two gardaí, joined the Walsh family in their home for tea and sandwiches.

Later that night Barbara disappeared, and hasn’t been seen since.

She left behind her seven children and husband MacDara, who continued to raise their children in the aftermath.

MacDara Walsh died in 2007.

RTE Prime Time - Daughters Jacqui and Catherine of missing mother Barbara Walsh (1) Sisters Jacqui and Catherine Walsh Source: RTÉ Prime Time

Barbara’s then 14-year-old daughter Jacqui and her sister Catherine tonight recalled their memories of the traumatic event on RTÉ’s Prime Time.

“Mum wouldn’t walk out on us, on seven kids, there’s no way. She was a proud woman, she was a good mother,” said Catherine.

And I’m sure someone does know what happened. It’s not too late for somebody to say something. It’s never too late.

Gardaí are currently re-investigating the entire case, and have taken 70 witness statements as part of that review.

RTE Prime Time - Missing mother Barbara Walsh family home in Connemara The family home at Rusheenamanagh near Carna Source: RTÉ Prime Time

Two years ago, a five-day excavation of lands around the Walsh’s house failed to find any trace of the missing woman.

Jacqui Walsh said there are other parts of Carna she would like the gardaí to search:

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“I believe there are people still alive with direct knowledge of what happened to our mother,” she said.

Speaking to Prime Time’s Barry Cummins, local Garda Detective Inspector Mick Coppinger said he believed the information about Barbara is very local to Carna.

RTE Prime Time - Detective Inspector Mick Coppinger reinvestigating missing mother Barbara Walsh Detective Inspector Mick Coppinger, who is leading the reinvestigation of Barbara Walsh's disappearance Source: RTÉ Prime Time

“Barbara’s children are still awaiting their mother to come home,” he said.

People have moved on with their lives. They cannot move on, need their mother. They need their mother back, they need to account for what happened to their mother.

Anyone with any information regarding Barbara’s disappearance is asked to contact gardaí on the Garda Confidential line on 1800 666 111.

Read: Appeal for Sligo woman (34) missing since last Wednesday

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