Dundalk as it Happens
Mother of missing Ciara Breen makes emotional plea for information on daughter’s disappearance
The mother of missing local woman Ciara Breen last night made an emotional plea for information on her daughter’s disappearance.
Ciara, then 17, hasn’t been seen since leaving her home in Bachelor’s Walk in Dundalk in the early hours of the morning on February 13th 1997.
Almost 21 years on her mother Bernadette believes there are still people out there who have information on her disappearance.
In an interview on RTÉ’s Prime Time last night, Bernadette spoke of her shock when she was told one of the chief suspects in Ciara’s disappearance, Liam Mullen, had died in Garda custody in Dundalk last Thursday.
The 55-year-old had twice been arrested by Gardaí in relation to Ciara’s disappearance – once in 1999 and more recently in 2015 – after a number of witnesses said she had sneaked out to meet him on the night of her disappearance. Mr Mullen was never charged in relation to the matter and always professed his innocence, insisting he only knew Ciara to say hello to.
Mr Mullen’s death is currently being investigated by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).
Bernadette revealed on Prime Time last night that she has prayed for Mr Mullen following his death.
“At first I felt numb. That’s being honest, I didn’t know what to feel. The next minute I wanted to shout, I wanted to scream, I wanted to hit something hard,” she told Prime Time.
“Now at the minute I have calmed down. Believe it or not I prayed for the person involved. I can’t believe that I did, maybe it’s my faith coming through, but I did pray for him.”
Bernadette said she begged Mullen “in every way I could, to say what he knew” about the whereabouts of Ciara’s body.
“And even if he didn’t confess, just to leave word with a priest. To say where she was. That’s gone. That hope and that prayer has gone. So that’s how I feel now, empty. But I’m still hopeful,” she said.
Bernadette said that “there is only one person there” in terms of suspects in Ciara’s disappearance.
“Out of respect for his family, because I’m sure his family loved him, I don’t want to get into it too deeply, because, it’s only been a week that they lost him,” she said.
Bernadette believes Ciara’s body is somewhere within the 16 acre Balmer’s Bog site, off the Ardee Road, which was searched two years ago.
She maintains the people that supplied the information that led the gardai to the bog “have to know a bit more”.
“Ciara has been lying out there on her own for 20 years. I know she is with God, I have strong faith, but I’m a mother. To me she is on her own. She has no-one to come to talk to her, she has no-one to lay a flower. She has no-one to cry at a graveside or anywhere else.
“That’s why I’m hopeful that you will allow her to come home. To the people that love her. And that’s why I’m thanking you in advance, and why I know that you will come forward.”
Gardaí are urging the person who wrote two relevant anonymous letters in 2014 to renew contact with them in confidence. The Garda Confidential Line can be contacted at 1800 666 111.
You can watch Bernadette Breen’s exclusive interview with Barry Cummins on Prime Time here.