Memorial created to missing Fiona Pender in Tullamore, Co Offaly

Stone sculpture and walking trail to commemorate woman missing since 1996

Fiona Pender:The 25-year-old hairdresser and part-time model was last seen at her apartment on Church Street, Tullamore, in August 1996. She was seven months pregnant when she vanished.

Fiona Pender:The 25-year-old hairdresser and part-time model was last seen at her apartment on Church Street, Tullamore, in August 1996. She was seven months pregnant when she vanished.

 

The 25-year-old hairdresser and part-time model was last seen at her apartment on Church Street, Tullamore, in August 1996. She was seven months pregnant when she vanished.

Her younger brother John, who designed the stone sculpture with the assistance of his former lecturer, said, “It means the world to my family and to the friends of Fiona to have this memorial placed here.

“As you know neither Fiona or her baby have ever been found, but this monument is a testament to their spirit and a place where not only her friends and her family, but now anyone that visits here can remember them.”

Immortalised
Thanking Bracken Stoneworks and members of a committee which was formed with the aim of having a memorial to Fiona, Mr Pender said, “Today Fiona’s memory is immortalised by the efforts of the community.”

For over a year, Fiona’s mother Josephine has been involved in a campaign to have the memorial erected in Tullamore. “The committee have surrounded me with love and affection during these hard months and for that I thank them,” she said.

Mrs Pender thanked all of those who supported the campaign and those who braved the rain to attend the unveiling. Reading the inscription on the memorial, she said, “A mother holds her child’s hand for only a moment in time but she holds them in her heart forever.”

Campaign member Marie White told the crowd that Fiona “lives in the hearts of her mother and her brother and in particular she lives in the hearts of this community”.

Local councillor Brendan Killeavy (SF) asked the crowd to use “Fiona’s Way” – a 4.5km walk along the canal dedicated to her memory – for charity walks and events.