Boston mother issues appeal as son missing since 2003 spotted in Ireland

Wed, Dec 28, 2011, 00:00

AN AMERICAN mother of two who will mark the ninth anniversary of her only son’s disappearance early next year has asked Irish people look out for him in order to put an end to her family’s suffering.

Terri Mullaney, from Scituate in Massachusetts, last saw her son, Matt, on January 10th, 2003, just before he moved to Florence in Italy to study art.

Matt Mullaney left a bar in Florence on February 1st, 2003, after a night out with friends and hasn’t been heard from since. The 23-year-old was studying art at Angel Academy in Florence for a few weeks before he went missing.

Since his disappearance there have been various reported sightings of Mr Mullaney in Ireland. In July 2003 Terri Mullaney was contacted by a woman based in Donegal who claimed that she had sat beside her son on a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin.

An Irish couple contacted gardaí in late 2006 claiming they had spent the afternoon of July 2nd, 2005, in Kinsale, Co Cork with Mr Mullaney. The pair spotted a photograph of Mr Mullaney in a newspaper appeal for information and were convinced that he was the same person they spoke to in Oscar Madison’s pub in Kinsale that summer.

The man reportedly introduced himself as “Matt from Massachusetts” and said he was keeping a journal of his travels in order to write a book.

There was also an unconfirmed sighting of him in a Galway pub in January 2004.

Terri Mullaney and her husband, Michael, have been relentless in their search for their son and have visited Ireland on several occasions. Their daughter, Meg, is a full-time student in Dublin.

Ms Mullaney says their son is on the FBI missing persons page but they have not heard of any new developments for quite some time.

“We’ve been in close contact with the FBI over the last few years trying to get samples of our DNA distributed to as many west European countries that have databases as possible. It has been another long process.

“The samples have finally arrived at The Hague and we are hearing they are, finally, being shared for comparison,” she said.