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Jo Jo Dullard's family 'know in our hearts she is not alive' but want help to 'bring her home'

Kathleen Bergin was speaking as gardaí confirmed they had made the case a murder investigation.

Kathleen Bergin (right) with gardaí this morning.
Kathleen Bergin (right) with gardaí this morning.

THE SISTER OF Josephine ‘Jo Jo’ Dullard has said the family have ‘known in our hearts’ that Jo Jo is no longer alive and have made an appeal to help ‘finish her journey’.

Kathleen Bergin was speaking this morning as gardaí confirmed that they had upgraded the investigation into her disappearance into a murder inquiry

The 21-year-old went missing in November 1995 after being last seen in Moone in Co Kildare. Gardaí said today that the inquiry is now officially a murder investigation after they had ruled out other potential causes for her disappearance. 

“We agree with the decision that has been made here to upgrade Jo Jo’s appeals to a murder investigation,” Ms Bergin told a media briefing in Newbridge this morning..

After all these years we have known in our hearts and have accepted that Jo Jo is not alive and we are hopeful that the team will be able to move this case along further and maybe please God find the answers to our questions.

“They are doing everything to can to find Jo Jo, they have a good team on this case. With the team now reviewing Jo Jo’s case we would appeal to people, we know somebody somewhere has information about Jo Jo’s disappearance and for whatever reason they have felt that they were unable to come forward up until now, we would pray that their circumstances have changed and for whatever reason, fear or whatever, something has been holding them back.

“Please believe us when we say we just want our Jo Jo brought home,” Ms Bergin said. “Please find it in your heart to come forward.”

The 21-year-old missed a direct bus home from Dublin to Callan in Kilkenny in November 1995. She managed to thumb lifts before being dropped in Moone in Co Kildare.

She was last seen making a phone call from a phone box in Moone. She told a friend on the phone that a car had pulled up, but was never heard from again. 

Ms Bergin urged anyone with information who has any potential piece of information to come forward and “help Jo finish that journey”.

She added that her parents and her siblings Tom and Mary have all died without having answers to what happened. 

Jo Jo was on her way home that night and her journey was cut short, she did not deserve what happened to her on that night. You can help Jo to finish that journey and bring her home to us and lay her beside Mum and Dad. It’s what Mary would have wanted, she has fought so hard over the years. She gave so much of herself to find Jo Jo and campaigned tirelessly. 

“Our sister passed away two years ago and her brother Tom passed away a number of years ago and none of them had answers. It was so difficult to see them pass away without answers. Mary fought tirelessly to the end of her life and we know she’d want Jo Jo brought home.

Jo Jo can’t speak for herself and we will continue to fight for her, that’s the least she deserves, she deserves to be brought home and again please help us.

Speaking at this morning’s briefing, Superintendent Martin Walker provided a description of what  Jo Jo was wearing when she went missing and he also appealed to anyone who might have seen her in Bruxelles pub in Dublin on 9 November 1995. 

“On the date in question she was wearing a dark anorak type jacket, blue jeans and a pair of black boots and was carrying small rucksack. One interesting aspect of this investigation establishing her possession of a Sanyo Walkman, black in colour with a pair of earphones to match,” he said. 

Additionally, I have a number of other appeal I wish to make. And they relate to establishing if anybody recalls meeting Jo Jo in Bruxelles bar on 9 November 1995 or indeed if they met her when she was traveling from Dublin towards her home in Callan, in particular in Busáras or Bruxelles, en route to Naas or also Moone where she was last seen. 

Source: RTÉ - IRELAND’S NATIONAL PUBLIC SERVICE MEDIA/YouTube

“Was anybody hitchhiking in that area and do you recall meeting Jo Jo? Did anybody stop and gave her a lift or offer her a lift, it’s very very important that we establish that,” he added.

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“And finally, I’m appealing to anybody who has any information pertinent to this inquiry to come forward. I know it’s 25 years that have elapsed but it’s very important that they come forward. Examine their conscience and come forward and let us know what they have in relation to this investigation.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Crime Review Team on 01-666-3444, the Garda Confidential line or any garda station.

About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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