I can’t say it’s got any easier. It’s 21 years now. It’s hard to believe. It’s a lifetime. I missed her now as much as I missed her then.
THE MOTHER OF missing Offaly woman Fiona Pender has made a heartfelt appeal for information that would lead to the discovery of her daughter’s body, 21 years after her disappearance.
The 25-year-old left her apartment in Tullamore, Co Offaly on 23 August 1996 and was never seen again. She was seven months pregnant at the time.
Speaking to RTÉ, Josephine Pender acknowledged that her daughter may be dead, but said that she just wants to give her the dignity of a proper burial.
“I think of her baby a lot, who would have been 21,” she said. “This baby would have been new life in the family. It’s terrible that someone could harm her.”
She said that she sympathised with the family of Trevor Deely, and that although finding the body of a loved one would be harrowing, it would provide closure.
It’s a catch-22. You want it so much but then it is a terrible thing if we do find her. Someone has buried her in the ground. If you thought she was there, you’d dig it with your bare hands.
“I’ve been praying for Trevor Deely’s parents every night,” she said. “They won’t get over it – none of us will – but they deserve a bit of peace.”
In 2014, gardaí conducted a thorough search of a forest near Portlaoise but were unable to find Fiona Pender.
The search was concentrated at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom mountains, close to the Glenbarrow waterfall.
Josephine Pender said that she just wanted a chance to bury her daughter.
I don’t know whether I’m going to last. If anyone knows anything… I would go so far as to beg them to come forward. Hopefully it will lead to finding her. I’m not into punishment, I just want Fiona given back a bit of dignity… to lay her to rest with her daddy and her brother.