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Julien Behal/PA Wire

Report due on missing persons in Ireland

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality recently heard from people involved in the search for missing persons.

AN OIREACHTAS Committee is due to present a report later this morning in relation to missing persons in Ireland.

The Joint Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality heard from a number of parties, including members of An Garda Síochána, the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Ireland, and Trace Missing Persons Ireland.

The committee heard that between 7,000 and 8,000 reports of missing persons are filed every year in Ireland. Of these, the “vast majority”, according to Garda Assistant Commissioner John O’Mahoney, relate to children who go missing from care.

That figure relates to the number of reports filed, and not the number of individual persons who go missing; around 4,000 persons go missing every year, O’Mahoney told the hearing.

“The vast majority of people are located safe and well within 24 hours of going missing,” O’Mahoney said.

The report, due out at 10am today, will make a number of recommendations and observations on the issue of missing persons.

Speaking ahead of the publication, committee chairman David Stanton TD said the joint committee hopes the report “will make a meaningful contribution to help raise public awareness and public assistance in searching for those who have gone missing and in supporting families and friends.”

“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.

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