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Bray locals in show of support as missing woman's family can't travel from UK for 10th anniversary

Berna Fidan has travelled here from the UK every year to put up posters and raise awareness of her sister’s case.

Image: Nicky Ryab/TheJournal.ie

THE COMMUNITY OF Bray in Co Wicklow has rallied around the family of missing woman Esra Uyrun as they cannot travel to Ireland this year to raise awareness of her case, ten years on from her disappearance.

The 32-year-old mother-of-one went missing on the morning of 23 February 2011 after leaving her home in Clondalkin. Her car was later found in a car park at Bray strand. 

Her sister, Berna Fidan, has travelled to Ireland from her home in the UK frequently over the ten years.

On each anniversary of Esra’s disappearance she has, along with other family members and friends of her missing sister, placed posters along the promenade in the hope that they will encourage someone to get in touch with information that will help progress the case. 

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Fidan has not travelled to Ireland for the anniversary this year.

“I’m just devastated I couldn’t come over. Of all the years, to not be able to make it over for the tenth year is really hard,” she told TheJournal.ie. “I feel so heartbroken. Every year I feel like I need to be there.”

Fidan said travelling to Ireland and being proactive by putting up posters and doing media interviews had helped her each year to get through the days around the anniversary.

“It kept me busy and at the moment I haven’t got anything to keep me busy, so I’m just pacing the room and getting agitated and I don’t know what to do with myself,” she said.

She said a local Bray woman this year offered to put up posters for her and when she uploaded a poster to a Bray Facebook group others also offered to help. 

“One woman said on Facebook she was going to put a candle on her doorstep for Esra as well, it’s just lovely,” Fidan said.

esra poster Locals in Bray have printed out this poster to hang around the promenade.

“I can’t thank the Bray community enough. Quite a few people on the Facebook page volunteered to put up posters for me. The local woman, Debbie, and her two friends did the seafront on Sunday and someone who lives in Clondalkin will put some up too.

“I’m so grateful and I just can’t thank them enough.”

Unanswered questions

Esra left her home between 7.20am and 7.30am to go buy some milk on 23 February 2011 and was due to return shortly because her husband needed their car to get to work.

Her number plate was recorded at the Power City roundabout in Clondalkin, which was just minutes from her house, just before 8am.

Fidan says the large gap in time for what would usually be a less than five minute drive is troubling.

“What happened to her in between her house and that roundabout that it took her so long to get there?”

CCTV captured her car coming down Bray strand, driving erratically and having a near collision with a silver Skoda Octavia before it parked up by 8.40am. The driver of this car has never come forward.

The missing woman’s car, a a silver Renault Twingo (08 D 23067), was found in a car park along the Bray promenade.

Footage that has been shared in previous appeals shows a woman moving up towards Bray head. She stops a number of times, looking back, before walking on. Gardaí have said they have not found footage to show this woman walking back this way.

This footage was captured at around 10am and the family does not believe this woman is Esra.

They have said she was taller and slimmer than the woman in the footage and have again questioned the gap in time from Esra parking up in Bray, which was around an hour and a half earlier.

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Gardaí have told the family that they believe Esra died by suicide in Bray that day. The last signal from her phone was on Bray Head.

Her sister said the family does not believe she took her own life as her mother was due to arrive in Dublin for a month-long visit, and they had made a number of plans for the trip before Esra went missing.

‘Going around in circles’

Fidan said she never imagined, when her sister first went missing, that she would still be searching for answers ten years on.

“At the very beginning when I flew to Ireland I had a return ticket for the following Monday. I was thinking I was just going to find her, pick her up and bring her home again,” she said.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

“Ten years later we still have no idea what happened to her and it feels like we are just going around in circles.”

Fidan is asking anyone who knew Esra and who spoke to her in the weeks before she disappeared to reach out to her

“Just in case we missed something. I am clutching at straws now, I really am,” she said.

“It just upsets me so much that we’re ten years down the line and we’re no closer to finding out what happened to her. ”

Esra is described as 5’3” in height, with dark hair and green eyes. When last seen she was wearing black leggings, white Nike trainers, and a dark top.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Ronanstown Garda Station on 01 666 7700, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any garda station.

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