Nearly 40,000 people reported missing over past decade

Statistics released to Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD show that 38,929 people have been reported missing in Ireland over the past decade. There are 850 live missing persons cases currently in the Garda Pulse system.

Speaking this week, Deputy Tóibín said: "These figures are very tragic. The pain endured by families of missing persons in many cases is greater than the pain associated with the death of a loved one. The unanswered questions, and the experience of watching a little bit of hope fade with each passing year must be unbearable.

"Aontú are calling for better lines of communication between Garda districts and branches when it comes to efforts to solve missing persons cases. The shortfalls in communication were revealed in the horrific case a few years ago where it emerged that Gardaí had failed to join the dots between a missing persons case in Limerick, and the discovery of a body in Galway Bay four weeks later. The body was left unidentified in a hospital mortuary for nearly twenty years, and eventually buried in Galway before anyone made the connection between the two cases, and the man's ageing parents were eventually afforded an opportunity to say goodbye to their son.

"We cannot allow situations like these, and in light of this we need a review of cold cases, a pair of fresh eyes to look over the 850 files, to review old newspaper records, and to try once more to finally bring peace or certainty to the families around the country enduring this torture. My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone whose loved ones have been declared missing," concluded Deputy Tóibín.