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Dublin: 10°C Thursday 27 January 2022

Ceremony to mark first national Missing Persons Day

The families of people who have been recorded missing will be in attendance.

Image: candles image via Shutterstock

TODAY IS THE first national Missing Persons Day and a ceremony at Farmleigh House today will pay tribute to all of those who have gone missing in Ireland.

Every year between 7,000 and 8,000 people are reported missing to gardaí – that is almost 20 a day. Though most of these people are located safe and well after a short period of time, a small number of people are never found.

TD David Stanton, who is chair of the Justice Committee, said that this leads to “much anxiety, worry, heartbreak and uncertainty for their families, friends and loved ones”.

The establishment of the national day was one of the recommendations in a report published by the committee last year.

“The never ending deep trauma, worry and sense of loss arising from not knowing how or why a loved one has gone missing, what has happened to him or to her, whether he or she is still alive or not was emphasised to, and was appreciated by, Committee Members,” Stanton said.

This initiative follows a campaign a group of students from Davis College in Mallow. They won the ‘Young Social Innovators of the Year’ award for their efforts, which included lobbying of politicians and the compilation of a petition calling for the introduction of a day to remember those who have gone missing.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast this morning, Minister Alan Shatter said there is a “whole range of reasons” people go missing. “Some decide simply to make a new life elsewhere,” he said.

He said the aim of today is to focus on the fact that people are missing and raise awareness of it with the hope that it may assist in locating them.

The families of people who have been recorded missing will be in attendance at the ceremony in Dublin today as well as the minster, the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan and various organisations.

To mark the day, gardaí are also launching a Child Rescue Alert smartphone app to assist in spreading the word about missing children.

Read: Shatter confirms date for Missing Persons Day, following campaign by Mallow students>

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