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Dublin: 17°C Tuesday 16 August 2022

"The hurt is unbelievable": A family searches for missing Sandra. Can you help?

Anyone with information about missing Sandra Collins is asked to pass it on to gardaí

10460260_1413299922291673_5483405674335292604_n Source: Patrick Collins

THE HEARTBROKEN FAMILY of Sandra Collins is making a fresh appeal for people to come forward with information, no matter how small, about the missing Killala woman.

Sandra was 29 when she disappeared, and would have turned 43 earlier this month.

Do you have information?

Her family have consistently campaigned to raise awareness of Sandra’s disappearance over the past 14 years. Now, near the 14th anniversary of the day she was last seen, they are again appealing for anyone who knows anything about Sandra’s last day to pass that information on.

Her brother, Patrick, told that he believes there are two categories of people who could come forward.

The first includes people who haven’t yet come forward and wonder if they should; the second is people who have come forward but still have information they haven’t shared, perhaps to protect a friend or family member.

“We don’t want to get anybody in trouble,” assured Patrick, who said the family’s main concern is bringing Sandra home and burying her.

He said the family members are not vindictive and not looking for retribution.

If I got her body back I would say they could go their way and we could go ours and that would be the end of it.
Our one and only goal has been finding her body and starting our lives. Our lives are on hold.


At a trial earlier this summer, Martin Earley was acquitted of Sandra’s murder. Now her family want to ensure the public don’t forget that Sandra was a person with a family who care deeply about her.

“I do believe we will find her,” said Patrick. “It might not be today and it might not be tomorrow and it might not be next year – but we will find her.”

The hurt, says Patrick, is “unbelievable”.

Searching for answers

He said that the family live in a very small community, where Sandra was well known.

“I do believe that somebody seen her that night in the company of whoever she was with,” he said of the night she went missing, adding that he understands people might have concerns about coming forward, but it is very important to the family that they do.

“It haunts our lives and I can only imagine that it must haunt whoever did what they did to Sandra,” he said. “I don’t know how they can go to bed to sleep at night.”

Patrick said that the Gardaí are very actively on the case of finding Sandra.

He said he wants people to realise that Sandra “was important and we loved her; because she wasn’t a nobody that can be just swept away under the carpet”.

Patrick said that the recent court case was “a very difficult experience” and very traumatic, but they had a great support network surrounding the family.

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“She is the most important one and we can’t really crumble now and we have got to keep fighting for her,” said her brother. “She had no voice – we have to be the voice for her. Sandra wants to come home.”


Their mother died without knowing where Sandra was, which was a further blow to the family.

On her birthday last Sunday, they had no grave to visit. They went to the church, lit a candle, and let Sandra know they were searching for her.

“What normal families haven’t had to deal with, it has become normality for us,” said Patrick.

He described his sister as “good and kind”, an “excellent person who gave up her life to look after her aunt”.

All the family want is to bring Sandra home, so she can be buried in Killala.

“My father has often planned Sandra’s funeral in his mind,” said Patrick. “We’ve spoken about what we would do if we got the call [to say her body was located]. The relief I would get from being told.”

Anyone with information about Sandra Collins can contact the helpline (independent of An Garda Siochána) ‘searching for the missing’, on 085 209 2119; Ballina Gardaí on 096 20560; or Killala Gardaí 096 32111. The Garda Confidential Line can also be called anonymously on 1800 666111.

Read: “The fight goes on”: Family continue their search for missing Sandra Collins>

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