On 4 December 2013, Ireland will hold its inaugural national Missing Persons Day, with a commemorative ceremony taking place at Farmleigh House, Dublin.

Missing Persons Day will complement the existing International Missing Children’s Day and has a number of objectives.  It will commemorate those who have gone missing and recognise the lasting trauma for their families and friends.  It will draw attention to open or unsolved missing persons cases, and it will create an opportunity to provide information on the support services which are available. 

Speaking in advance of the event, Minister Shatter said ‘The circumstances of each missing persons case is unique in its own way, but the heartbreak and enduring impact for family and friends is universal.  I am honoured to join with the families affected by these tragic circumstances for this important inaugural event.’ 

‘I also believe there is scope for developing this national initiative beyond Ireland and have recently proposed to my EU Justice and Home Affairs Ministerial colleagues that consideration be given to introducing a ‘European Missing Persons Day’.  Such an event would recognise the significance of this issue across Europe and promote further collaboration between Member States in the exchange of experience and good practice in this area.’ 

The inaugural Irish Missing Persons Day ceremony will be attended by the families and friends of missing persons, as well as the many organisations working in the community on their behalf.  It will incorporate musical and personal tributes and reflections, followed by a tree planting ceremony in the grounds of Farmleigh House.  The event will also be attended by the second level students of Davis College, Mallow, Co. Cork, who organised a campaign to raise awareness of missing persons issues and to call for a national Missing Persons Day. 

27 November 2013 

ENDS

 

Note for Editors 

The event will start at 11.15am on Wednesday 4 December.  Keynote Speakers and contributors on the Day include Minister Shatter and the Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan, as well as: 

Barry Cummins – Journalist and Author

Dermot Browne – Chairperson Missing In Ireland Support Services (MISS)

Helen Grealis – Searching for the Missing 

The ceremony will also include musical performances from:

Celine Byrne – Soprano, Olivia Burke – young singer/songwriter fromTullamore, the Penston Vocal Academy, an award winning youth Choir, and the Band of An Garda Síochána.