Lake search for missing Dublin men abandoned

Concern grows for Eoin O’Connor (32) and Anthony Keegan (33), not seen since Tuesday


Garda divers abandoned a search of a lake in Co Westmeath for two missing men this afternoon leaving further uncertainty as to their whereabouts.

It is now three days since Eoin O’Connor (32) and Anthony Keegan (33) have been seen after travelling to Co Cavan for a pre-arranged meeting on Tuesday.

Family reported the men missing and there are serious concerns for their wellbeing. Both are from the Coolock area of north Dublin and are known to gardaí.

Eoin O’Connor was last seen on the evening of the April 22nd at Kilbarron Avenue, Coolock. He is described as being 6 foot tall, stocky build with short brown hair and blue eyes. When last seen he was wearing a grey track suit bottoms and a blue windbreaker type jacket with a hood.

Anthony Keegan is described as being 5 foot 10 inches tall, medium build with short brown hair and brown eyes.

This evening, Gardaí at Ballymun renewed their appeal to members of the public in their efforts to trace the movements of their car between the evening of the April 22nd until early yesterday morning when it was found near the N4.

An intensive search of the countryside around Ballyjamesduff in Co Cavan was carried out yesterday but efforts diverted to Lough Owel in Co Westmeath today following the discovery of the grey Ford Focus car with a 04 D 46830 registration in which the men had been travelling.

Gardaí believe they had gone to a pre-arranged meeting in or around the area but never returned home prompting their families to raise the alarm.

Lough Owel is located just off the N4 near Mullingar, about 90km from where the men live.

A group of people, thought to be friends and family and at one stage numbering up to 30, maintained a presence at the lake throughout today’s search.

There was a significant Garda presence at the scene including members of the Crime Scene Investigation Unit and the Armed Response Unit.

At one point detectives had closed access to an adjoining field leading into a strip of woodland running alongside the water.

Garda divers arrived just after lunchtime and entered the water although their efforts proved in vain and the operation was called to a halt at 4pm.

Lough Owen is a local beauty spot and is well used in the area by residents for fishing and swimming.

There is deep water and the car park in which the Ford Focus was discovered was located just a short distance from a diving board.

Sources indicated the search efforts were to revert back to the Cavan area although at this stage they do not appear to have a particular focal point.

However much of the investigation is now likely to centre on the car with detectives eager to establish its movements between counties Cavan and Westmeath. It was taken for forensic examination.

Yesterday a number of people were interviewed by gardaí in an attempt to piece together the movements of the men. There have been no arrests.

“They told gardaí that they had gone to Cavan and believe they had come to a bad end,” said one well-placed source.

“As of now there is no sign of them. No-one has seen them or their car and we haven’t found any bodies but there are serious concerns.”

Search efforts in Co Cavan had been made more difficult due to the rural nature of the landscape which includes a number of small lakes, streams and drumlins.

Farmers in particular had been asked to check their land and out-houses for any sign of the men or evidence of recent movements. They were also being asked to report any sightings or incidents out of the ordinary in recent days.

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Ballymun Garda station on 01 6664400, the Garda confidential telephone line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.