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Dublin: 5 °C Saturday 23 March, 2019

Brother of Fiona Pender says 'people want to see us with a body to mourn'

John was just 15 when his sister went missing in 1996.

Fiona Pender
Fiona Pender
Image: Pender family

FIONA PENDER’S BROTHER has spoken out about the impact his sister’s disappearance has had on his family.

Fiona, then 25, left her apartment in Tullamore, Co Offaly on 23 August 1996 and was never seen again. She was seven months pregnant at the time.

Her brother John was just 15 when she went missing.

Speaking to The Ryan Tubridy Show on RTÉ Radio 1 today, John said Fiona wasn’t in a good place when she disappeared and had been struggling with the loss of their brother Mark, who had died a year before in a motorbike accident.

“She was seven and a half months pregnant, she was quite immobile … and it slowly dawned on us that something wrong happened,” John recalled.

He said he doesn’t believe Fiona is alive and the family are looking for her body. 

“The nation wants answers, I think people in general want to see us with a body to mourn,” he said. 

Loss of both parents 

In 2000, their father Sean died by suicide. “He couldn’t deal with the loss of his kids,” John said. 

Source: RTÉ Radio 1/SoundCloud

John also spoke about his mother Josephine, who died in September 2017, saying she had “great faith”.

He said a number of psychics contacted the family after Fiona’s disappearance, with some looking for pieces of her clothing

“When you put something in the public eye that much, people are going to get attracted to it, it’s going to attract all sorts,” John said. 

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Órla Ryan

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