Cork East Fine Gael TD and Minister of State at the Department of Justice & Equality, David Stanton welcomed families and friends of missing persons to the fourth National Missing Persons Day ceremony on 7th December. The event is held on the first Wednesday of December every year at Farmleigh.
“It was a privilege to participate in this event which gives the families and friends of missing persons an opportunity to commemorate their loved ones and share their experiences. National Missing Persons Day not only provides recognition for the ongoing suffering of people whose loved ones are missing but also provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of the numbers that go missing but also to highlight the support services available to people who have lost a loved one”, noted Minister Stanton.
“When I was Chairperson of the Oireachtas Justice Committee I visited Davis College to attend an event organised by students who had run a ‘Forget Me Not’ campaign to highlight the plight of families whose loved one had gone missing. Following this the Committee held a number of hearing and produced a report, for the former Minister for Justice and Equality, Alan Shatter TD, recommending the establishment of a National Missing Person’s Day. Since its establishment I have been pleased to attend the event in Farmleigh every year.
“This event was attended not just by families and friends of missing persons but also by a large number of voluntary organisations including National Missing Persons Helpline, Searching for the Missing, WAVE Trauma Centre, the Irish Coast Guard and many other whose hard work, support and dedication are invaluable to people trying to deal with the trauma of a missing loved one.
“The event was also an opportunity to thank the many members of An Garda Siochana who are involved in the investigation of missing person cases such as the Missing Persons Bureau, Family Liaison Officers, and local Gardaí. Forensic Science Ireland also contributed to the event and hope that the establishment of a National DNA Database will assist An Garda Siochana in missing persons’ cases.
“I am delighted that the National Missing Persons Day is such a well-attended and successful event each year. There is huge value in attendees sharing experiences with other families who have gone through similar trauma. It is also important for the wider community to remember those who are missing and the very difficult situation faced by family and friends missing loved ones”, concluded Minister Stanton.