Gardai believe they are close to solving the disappearance of Dundalk woman Ciara Breen who went missing from her home at Bachelor’s Walk 17 years ago.
Gardai said two people who met Ciara on the evening of her disappearance recently came forward and this has helped prompt a new puplic appeal.
On 13 February 1997 Ciara, who was 17 at the time, had been out with her mother at an Italian restaurant.
They returned home and then retired for the night, but during the night Ciara’s mother Bernadette awoke and when she checked she discovered Ciara was no longer in her room.
Ciara had climbed out her bedroom window during the night and was never seen again.
Detective Inspector Pat Marry is heading up the special garda unit at Dundalk Garda Station which has been investigating the case.
“She didn’t take any money or extra clothes,” Det Inspector Marry said, “so we believe she was meeting someone. There is nothing to suggest that she was not coming back,” he said.
A local man was questioned at the time of Ciara’s disappearance but was never charged.
The investigating team has worked closely with international police forces and followed up reports of sightings in Britain and the Continent. Every possible lead has been followed up but gardai are convinced that this is a local crime.
“This case can be solved if the right people come forward,” Detective Inspector Marry said.
“Somebody out there knows something and we’d just appeal to them at this stage to come forward.”
Ciara’s case was reviewed by the Garda Cold Case team a number of years ago, but Dundalk gardai are quite satisfied that Ciara was not the victim of a serial killer.
“This is local,” Det Inspector Marry said.
“We would appeal to anybody who has any information to come forward.
“They can contact the Dundalk Garda Station, the Confidential Line, any garda station, this newspaper, or a third party.
“We want to solve this case and bring closure for the family.
“An Garda Siochana is a public service. We are here to serve the people, and we are dedicated to solving this and other crimes,” Detective Inspector Marry said.
Ciara was 5ft 5in tall with long dark brown hair and blue eyes.
She was wearing a black leather jacket, a pair of dark blue jeans, wine-coloured sweatshirt and a white T-shirt with a picture of her face superimposed on it.
Anybody with any information is asked to contact:
Dundalk Garda Station: 042 - 9 33 55 77.
Garda Confidential line: 1800 666 111.
Dundalk Democrat 042 - 933 40 58.