#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal
Dublin: 17°C Thursday 24 June 2021
Advertisement

Judge orders ad to be placed in Manchester newspaper for Irishwoman missing for 21 years

Ellen Coss Brown is a beneficiary of a €372k estate.

Image: RollingNews.ie

A JUDGE HAS ordered that an ad be placed in a leading Manchester newspaper in a bid to track down a woman missing for 21 years. 

Ellen Coss Brown, from Ballyfermot in Dublin, disappeared over two decades ago while returning home from Holyhead. 

Ellen, who would now be 72, is a significant beneficiary in a €372,000 estate and her brother, James Brown, who is administering the final will of a family member, asked the court for directions.

Judge John O’Connor directed that an advertisement be placed in a leading Manchester newspaper asking her to contact her family and seeking any possible information that may remain with regard to her possible whereabouts.

Ellen was 51 when she went missing. The mum of one had been staying with her sister Bertha Lee in Langley, Middleton, who waved goodbye to her on November 3, 1999 at Piccadilly Rail Station in Manchester as she left for Holyhead to catch the ferry back home to Dublin – a trip she had made many times.

Sadly it was the last time her sister, or anyone else, would see Ellen despite searches by police in Wales and England and Gardai in Dublin. Bertha has since passed away without having seen or heard from Ellen again.

Ellen’s son Peter was living in Penge, South London, at the time and spoke to his mum the night before she went missing. He remembered her telling him at the end of the phone call that she loved him although this was something she would often say to him.

About a year after she went missing, Peter and his aunt Bertha had to view a body in Bournemouth that had been in the water for some time. He did not think it looked like her. The family gave DNA samples and after an anxious wait it turned out not to be Ellen.

#Open journalism No news is bad news Support The Journal

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support us now

Ellen’s brother Tom Brown often travelled to Holyhead hoping he might find her and spent months trawling the streets of Dublin in a desperate bid to locate his missing sister.

He was told there was a lookalike of her in Dublin and he slept rough to gain the trust of the homeless community as he wanted to see this woman, He did see her and she was very like his sister but not her. It was only one of several sightings of her in Dublin but none of them turned out to be her.

Ellen had two brothers James and Thomas and her sister Bertha Lee. Now James, the administrator of the bachelor estate of a family member is seeking the court’s assistance in finally wrapping up distribution of the estate.

Judge O’Connor told barrister Karl Dowling he would adjourn the matter until July when further directions would be considered by the court in the event of no further trace of Ellen being found.

About the author:

Ray Managh

Read next:

COMMENTS