Family appeal after Irish woman goes missing


THE IRISH family of a woman missing in Melbourne have appealed for people to help with the search for her in Australia.

Jill Meagher (29) vanished while walking home from a Melbourne bar in the early hours of Saturday morning. She was last seen between 1.30am and 2am in the suburb of Brunswick.

Her husband Tom, who is from Dublin, said Bar Etiquette, where Ms Meagher was last seen, is a five-minute walk from their home. “She went out with some work friends and never came home,” Mr Meagher told local media. “It’s totally out of character.”

Ms Meagher worked in management with ABC Radio in Melbourne. She worked with RTÉ before emigrating.

A Facebook page – Help Us Find Jill Meagher – has been set up to help find her. Mr Meagher said the public response on social media has been huge. ‘‘It’s been massive. It hasn’t led anywhere so far but it’s great that it keeps the focus on [the search],’’ he said.

Det Sgt Steve Bull, from the crime investigation unit, said Ms Meagher’s friends told police she intended to walk home after leaving the bar.  “We have concerns that this is totally out of character for Jillian and we just haven’t been able to find her at this stage. So we have concerns for her safety,” he said.

The police are reviewing CCTV footage but could not say whether Ms Meagher’s phone or bank card had been used in the hours after she went missing.

Mr Meagher said his wife did not have any identification with her other than her bank card, and that her phone is switched off and cannot be tracked. “We’ve checked with all the hospitals, but I think that someone has done something to her. I fear that because it’s not something she would do without contacting anybody,” he said.

“I just think something must have happened . . . I’m absolutely freaking out. I just wish I knew where she was.”

The Meaghers moved to Australia three years ago.

In Drogheda yesterday Ms Meagher’s uncle Michael McKeon said it seemed that Jillian walked home at the wrong time. “It is worrying and the fact that we are here in Ireland and not there, you just feel you cannot do anymore to help. We just hope that she is found and is okay,” he said.

Her only sibling Michael flew from his home in Perth in Western Australia to help in the search for his older sister. Their parents George and Edith also live in Perth and they had travelled back home to Drogheda with Jill earlier this month to catch up with family.

“We would ask anyone who can help in the search to make contact with Tom who has put his phone number on Facebook,” said Mr McKeon.