Family appeals for information 20 years after Deirdre Jacob disappeared

‘Come forward, get it off your mind and you’ll certainly feel the better of it’ - Michael Jacob

Deirdre Jacob was 18 years old when she disappeared after a trip to Newbridge, Co Kildare, on July 28th, 1998.

Deirdre Jacob was 18 years old when she disappeared after a trip to Newbridge, Co Kildare, on July 28th, 1998.

 

Twenty years ago on Saturday, Deirdre Jacob crossed the road towards her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare and was never seen again.

From Naas Garda station on Friday her family appealed for information to help them solve the mystery of what happened on Tuesday, July 28th, 1998.

Deirdre was 18 years old when she disappeared after a trip to Newbridge town where she visited the bank, the post office and her granny’s shop before heading home.

She had completed a year in St Mary’s College, London and was home for the summer.

“It has been a long hard grind, day in, day out, night in, night out,” said her father, Michael Jacob.

“There are always markers along the way that give you a jolt and you feel, where’s Deirdre? She should be there, she should be in such a photo, at such a family occasion and she’s not there.

“In the quietness of the night if you awaken, it comes to mind straight away and you’re wrestling with it all the time.”

He described the intervening 20 years as “long and desperate”, but said “sometimes you think it has just gone by in the blink of an eye”.

When Deirdre’s mother, Bernie Jacob, returned home from work that day she found the front door to their home double locked. This immediately set off alarm bells as it meant Deirdre was not home.

Her family began contacting her friends and by 10pm that night gardaí in Newbridge had started searching the area.

“The following morning a massive search took place,” said Michael.

“There was a landscape search. Every hedge, ditch, bog, woodland, was turned over and searched and that search continued for a month. Then the serious job of correlating all that information has gone on and there have been many reviews since.”

Reviews

Superintendent Martin Walker, Naas Garda station, said a number of reviews have taken place over the years and the case remains open, but they are no closer to knowing what happened to Deirdre.

The family have continued to appeal for information in the hope that somewhere along the line, they will convince whoever has that vital piece of information to come forward and make a difference.

“It would help us to start to move on a different track,” said Michael.

“We would know. As we are at the minute, we don’t know and it is very difficult to comprehend the difficulty of not knowing something like that.”

He believes that something as simple as an overheard conversation, an observation or a change of circumstances could hold the key to the puzzle.

“Maybe they’ve been holding on to it for a long time. I think if there’s someone holding on to information for a long time it would bother them at times and why not come forward now.

“It’s 20 years, it’s a long, long time to be holding on to something. Come forward, get it off your mind and you’ll certainly feel the better of it.”