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Hundreds search for missing pregnant woman Aoife Phelan

Around 300 volunteers searched for missing woman Aoife Phelan in Ballyroan yesterday.

Image: Family handout

AROUND 300 PEOPLE  took part in the latest search for missing Laois woman Aoife Phelan in Ballyroan yesterday.

The search party was organised by the local community and some of Aoife’s brothers, close relatives and friends were involved in the effort.

Volunteers gathered at the church car park in Ballyroan at 11am and people were split into groups of 10. They were told not to touch anything that could be significant to the investigation and in particular to keep an eye out for a St. Christopher medal and Aoife’s glasses.

Mini-buses were organised to transport volunteers around the Portlaoise and greater Portlaoise area to cut down on the number of cars used and a local man flew a plane over the area as visibility was particularly good.

The family asked for the Ridge Road to be given an extensive search because one volunteer said they had “hunch” about the area. However, it is not believed that anything was found.

A quarry, boglands, drains, disused farm yards and forestry was also searched in what was described as an extensive effort by local volunteers.

Aoife was last seen on October 25 when she left a friend’s house at Colliers View in Portlaoise at around 8.10pm.

The 30-year-old nanny, who is from Cashel, Ballyroan, Portlaoise is four months pregnant.

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Gardaí described Aoife as approximately 5’7’’ in height, of slim build, and has long blonde/sandy coloured hair and blue eyes. When last seen she was wearing stone washed/light coloured jeans and a knitted jumper. She was also wearing a red sleeveless jacket with a fur trimmed hood and black boots. She may have been wearing a silver necklace and a watch with a black strap.

Gardai in Portlaoise are renewing their appeal for public assistance in tracing the whereabouts of the missing woman and are appealing for members of the public to contact Portlaoise garda station with any information. Gardai say they are continuing with their enquiries and searches today.

Read: Searches continue for missing Aoife Phelan >

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