Candlelit vigil for missing woman
The heartbroken mother of missing Laois woman, Aoife Phelan, made an
emotional plea for her daughter’s return at a candlelit vigil tonight.
Up to 200 friends, family members and neighbours gathered at Colliers View, Portlaoise, where Aoife was last seen almost exactly a week before.
“Aoife we will be strong as a family and we will bring you home, we love you Aoife, so come home,” Betty Phelan said. She clutched a pair of rosary beads and led prayers during the vigil. S
She called on anyone with information to “please, please” contact gardaí.
The missing woman's brother Darragh said, “On behalf of my mother and father and brothers and sisters, we are just hoping tonight, that something will jog someone's memory somewhere. No matter how small, how trivial, just please, please contact the guards in Portlaoise.”
Aoife's family, who were carrying roses and pictures of Aoife, thanked the community and gardaí for their support. The family linked arms in a circle after the prayers were said for Aoife’s safe return.
Gardaí say they are now “extremely concerned” over the welfare of Aoife Phelan (30), the pregnant woman who disappeared in Co Laois last Thursday.
The full-time live-in nanny, who is four months pregnant, was last seen leaving a friend’s house at Colliers View in Portlaoise at 8.10pm last Thursday.
Supt Yvonne Lundon described her disappearance as “totally out of character”. On the day she vanished, Ms Phelan left work in Portlaoise at 6.15pm and met a friend by arrangement on the Borris Road.
She then went to her friend’s house at Colliers View, but left at 8.10pm and hasn’t been seen since.
“Obviously her parents and friends are extremely concerned about her welfare, and we at An Garda Síochána are also concerned about her welfare and endorse those opinions,” said Supt Lundon.
“We are investigating all avenues in relation to... this investigation and we have conducted a number of inquiries with a wide range of people who have come forward to us.
“We have conducted a number of searches and those searches are ongoing, and we will continue to conduct searches as information comes to hand which we need to rule out,” Supt Lundon added.
“We have conducted searches in the Portlaoise area and we also have conducted searches in the Mountmellick area, and they have produced negative results,” Supt Lundon revealed.
Gardaí are continuing to treat Ms Phelan’s disappearance as a missing persons case, she added.
Thanking the public for their “fantastic assistance”, Supt Lundon said: “We would call on them again to come forward with any information, no matter how insignificant they feel that information may be.”
Ms Phelan is described as being approximately 5’7’’ in height, of slim build, with long blonde/sandy hair and blue eyes. When last seen she was wearing jeans and a knitted jumper. She also has a red bomber-style jacket and was wearing a silver St Christopher medal and black Ugg style boots.
Anyone who can assist in locating Aoife is asked to contact Portlaoise Garda Station on 057-8674100, The Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda station.