Locals gather to help search for missing Wicklow youth

Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 01:00

THE FAMILY of a Co Wicklow man who has been missing since last weekend yesterday appealed for help in tracing him.

James Sheehan (18) was last seen in Arklow early on Sunday morning after leaving Sally O’Brien’s nightclub. A major search involving gardaí and locals got under way in Arklow yesterday.

He is described as 189cm (6ft 2in) tall and of athletic build, with tightly cut red hair. He was wearing a light grey Henley hoodie with a neon orange lining, blue jeans and tan Kickers shoes.

His mother Catherine Sheehan said yesterday she last spoke to her son on Friday morning.

“I became worried on Sunday night because I hadn’t heard anything from him and he’s always on his mobile phone,” she said.

“When he left the nightclub, he walked over the bridge and his friend offered him a lift. He said, ‘No, I’m all right’, but then he got into the car and his friend dropped him off at Willow Grove housing estate. That was the last time he was seen,” she said. “He’s a mammy’s boy. He always comes home.”

His father and family had been searching for Mr Sheehan since early yesterday morning, she said, adding the teenager had many friends and was a “cheeky chappie with an answer for everything, but in a humorous way”.

She ruled out any involvement with drugs, saying he was anti-drugs and anti-smoking.

A friend of the family said he spoke to Mr Sheehan on Friday and he was in good form.

“We were chatting, laughing away and slagging each other. He’s a great kid. We’re all in shock and hope that he returns home safely,” he said. “His brother Anthony (24) is in bits. This is very tough for him because they’re very close brothers. I’d ask anyone if they know anything, whether it’s good or bad, to come forward and tell the gardaí.”

Garda Insp Mary Aldridge said the river in Arklow was being searched. “There is nothing to indicate that he is there but we are checking it so that we can eliminate the river from all the places we are searching,” she said.

“There was some activity on his phone up until 5.10am. If anyone saw any activity between 2.50am and 5.10am, or indeed any time since, then please get in contact with the Garda.”

Yesterday his mother said she did not know whether reports that her son was bundled into a car by two men after a scuffle at the estate were true. Gardaí had no information of the events being linked at this point.

Anyone with information should contact Arklow Garda station on 0402-32304, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Gardaí at Clondalkin are seeking help in tracing 16-year-old Mark O’Brien who has been missing since August 14th. He is 163cm tall with black-hair and was last seen on Cherry Orchard Avenue in Ballyfermot.