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Bernadette Breen urged anyone with information to come forward on Prime Time tonight. RTÉ
20 years on

'There are people out there that know': Mother makes emotional plea for missing Ciara Breen

Ciara Breen went missing more than 20 years ago, and the main suspect in her disappearance died last week.

THE MOTHER OF 17-year-old Ciara Breen made an emotional plea for information about her daughter’s disappearance tonight, twenty years since she went missing.

Bernadette Breen told RTÉ’s Prime Time that she was shocked to hear from gardaí last week that the chief suspect in Ciara’s disappearance had died suddenly.

Breen said “there are people out there who know” where her daughter is buried and urged them to come forward.

“I felt numb”

Ciara Breen was last seen on 13 February 1997.

The chief suspect in this case was 34-years-old at the time Ciara disappeared. A number of witnesses had claimed she had sneaked out of her house to meet the man, but he denied all knowledge of her whereabouts.

He was arrested in 1999 and 2015, but no charges were ever brought against him.

Bernadette Breen said that she had asked him on many occasions to say what he knew about Ciara’s whereabouts.

“I begged him in every way I could,” she said, “to say what he know. And even if he didn’t confess, just to leave word with a priest. To say where she was. That’s gone.”

Breen said that when gardaí let her know that this man had died last week, she felt “numb”.

She said: “That’s being honest, I didn’t know how to feel. The next minute I wanted to shout, I wanted to hit something hard.

Now at the minute I have calmed down. Believe it or not I prayed for the person involved.

“There’s only one person there”

When asked if the answers on Ciara’s disappearance could lie elsewhere, her mother was sure that all roads led back to this suspect.

“Gardaí have put other people as they put it, in the centre of the maze, but no matter what way, what route they took, when they got back to the centre there is only one person there,” she said.

In 2015, gardaí conducted a major search of a section of bogland at Balmers Bog off the Ardee Road in Dundalk.

These searches were conducted following two anonymous letters sent with relevant information to the case.

Although no trace of Ciara was found, Bernadette is convinced that there are individuals who may know where her daughter is buried.

She said: “They have given enough information that led gardaí to the bog. For the dig. They have to know a little bit more.

Ciara has been lying out there on her own for 20 years. I know she is with God, I have strong faith, but I’m a mother. To me she is on her own. She has no-one to come to talk to her, she has no-one to lay a flower.
She has no-one to cry at a graveside or anywhere else. That’s why I’m hopeful that you will allow her to come home. To the people that love her. And that’s why I’m thanking you in advance, and why I know that you will come forward.

Read: Suspect device found in marshland during search for Ciara Breen

Read: Ciara Breen investigation: Search of marshland back under way – in driving rain

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