“The very serious matter of missing persons requires urgent and serious action. It is an ever increasing problem which cannot he sidelined.

There is not one county in Ireland which has not been affected by this modern tragedy. At railway stations and throughout towns and cities, one can see posters from families looking for information on their loved ones who have gone missing without explanation.

The epidemic of missing persons has grown almost unnoticed and one can only imagine the immense suffering of families who are left in a limbo of uncertainty, doubt and fear.

These families are vulnerable and helpless and urgently need support and reassurance. It is not acceptable to record these missing persons as mere statistics and forget all about them. They are our citizens, missing in questionable and very often suspicious circumstances. We owe it to their worried families to make them a priority.

It is very often evident that present structures and responses are not adequate to resolve many of these cases. We need a radical reappraisal of resources and methods employed in such cases. The public (organisations and individuals) should be invited to play a more pro-active role in heIping to locate the whereabouts of missing persons. Families could be afforded more resources in their own private efforts to locate their loved ones.”