Father of man missing exactly 17 years pleads for information

Gussie Shanahan one of three Dell security guards who disappeared over a two-year period

The father of a man who is missing exactly 17 years today has pleaded for information about his son's whereabouts so he can bury him next to his late wife, Nancy.

Bob Shanahan (73), said he believes members of the public know what happened to his son Aengus Shanahan, better known as "Gussie".

Gussie Shanahan was one of three young Dell security guards who disappeared separately over a two-year period, the others being Des Walsh and Matthew Carroll. No trace of any of them has ever been found.

Mr Shanahan said he believes his son was murdered. Appealing for information on February 11th, the 17th anniversary of the his son’s disappearance, Mr Shanahan, a former bank manager, said: “Nancy died not knowing what happened to Gussie.


“All we want as a family is for someone to tell us where his skeleton is so we can give him a decent burial alongside his mother.

“I just hope we get some closure, so it doesn’t sit on the shoulders of the next generation of the family, and the one after that.

“Aengus would be an uncle to five now - we all miss him,” he added.

Gardaí have also renewed their appeal for help in solving the case.

Speculation on murder

Gardaí have stated they do not have any leads as to what became of Gussie, but sources have said they are investigating several lines of inquiry - including speculation the then 20-year-old was murdered and buried in a concrete grave.

Information was passed to Mr Shanahan in 2007 by an anonymous male telephone caller who said Gussie had been killed and thrown over a ditch.

Last year, Mr Shanahan appealed directly to this caller to make contact again and provide more specific information: “I’m appealing for them to come back to us to end our agony.”

Despite a number of possible leads, subsequent Garda searches have yielded no trace.

Gussie was last seen on CCTV footage leaving Coopers Bar, Joseph's Street, at around 10.30pm, on February 11th, 2000, and walking to Old School House lane, which connects with Barrington Street. After this the trace runs cold.

Died not knowing

Nancy Shanahan (74), died last May, not knowing what had happened to the youngest of her four children.

In a tribute to Nancy, at her funeral Mass, her eldest son Roibeard told mourners his mother was finally “waltzing with (Gussie) in heaven”.

Another avenue which independent investigators have looked at, but which has run cold, was whether Gussie’s case was linked to the disappearance of the two fellow Dell security employees.

Gussie, Des Walsh and Matthew Carroll all went missing between 1998 and 2000.

Mr Walsh failed to turn up for his shift as a Securicor night guard at Dell.

The 25-year old, from Dromkeen, Co Limerick, was last seen at 2am leaving the Works nightclub, Limerick, on September 18th, 1999.

‘Pure torture’

Speaking to this reporter in 2014, Des’s mother, Julia, said he had disappeared on her 58th birthday. Julia said the annual arrival of the date is “pure torture”.

She said she believes her son was murdered but does not know why. Her husband Thomas, died due to cancer two years after their son’s disappearance.

Matthew Carroll (30), from Southill, was last seen leaving the Steering Wheel pub at the Roxboro Shopping Centre on June 8th, 1998.

Teresa Carroll died without knowing where her son was.

Speaking to this reporter shortly before her death, Teresa (then 85), made a final heartbroken plea for information about Matthew’s whereabouts: “I want to be buried with my son. I’ve told (my son) Seamus he has to put Matthew’s bones in on top of me, should I go before his body is found.”

All three cases remain live open Garda investigations.

The Garda Confidential Line is 1800-666-111.