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Minister James Browne hosts National Missing Persons Day at Croke Park

Minister James Browne hosts National Missing Persons Day at Croke Park

Minister of State at the Department of Justice, James Browne, TD, will today, Wednesday 6 December, host the annual ceremony to mark national Missing Persons Day.

Missing Persons Day is an annual commemorative day for families and friends to remember their missing loved ones. Missing Persons Day also provides a nationwide platform to appeal to the public for information on missing persons.

To mark national Missing Persons Day, a commemorative ceremony is hosted by the Minister each year. The ceremony features spoken contributions from families of missing persons, as well as speeches from the Minister, the Garda Commissioner, and other speakers, including expert practitioners, state agencies and voluntary organisations.

The National Missing Persons Day ceremony will take place in Croke Park, where it was held last year. The ceremony will also be livestreamed on the Department’s website so that those who unable to attend in person or are living overseas can view the ceremony.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Minister Browne said:

“National Missing Persons Day is one of the most important days in the Department of Justice Calendar. It is the day when those who are missing someone dear to them can come together, share their experience, and draw strength from each other.

"It is also an opportunity to raise awareness in relation to missing persons cases. If you have information, no matter how minor it may appear, I would urge you to please come forward and share this information with An Garda Síochána. Any information has the potential to make a contribution to resolving a missing person case.

"I also want to encourage families of missing persons who have yet to provide a DNA sample to consider doing so. The collection and matching of DNA samples has made a crucial contribution to several missing persons cases in this country in recent years. Forensic scientists are available at today’s ceremony to take your DNA sample, or you can provide a DNA sample to Gardaí.”

Commissioner Harris stated:

“Today is a day filled with complex emotion, but it is an important day to remember the missing and to share just how much they are dearly missed. An Garda Síochána remains dedicated to seeking the truth and providing answers for the families and loved ones of those missing.”

Minister Browne added:

“I am delighted to announce that next year Missing Persons Day will serve as the centrepiece for a new Missing Persons Week. Missing Persons Week will comprise of a series of events and an awareness raising-campaign aimed at bringing much needed attention to missing persons cases and hopefully answers for those left behind.”

The Minister concluded:

“I want to thank all of those who contribute to Missing Persons Day and commit so much of their time to make it possible each year. My particular thanks go to the family members of missing people who share their stories. It is a privilege to hear their stories and being part of their commemorations makes the day very special indeed.

Through Missing Persons Day, we are keeping hope alive”

Notes for editors:

On 4 December 2013, Ireland held its inaugural national Missing Persons Day with a commemorative ceremony which took place at Farmleigh House, Dublin. The inaugural ceremony was attended by the families and friends of missing persons, as well as many of the organisations working in the community on their behalf. The ceremony incorporated musical and personal tributes and reflections, followed by a tree planting ceremony in the grounds of Farmleigh House.

This year’s event will feature musical performances from Don Mescall and the choir of Loreto Abbey, Dalkey.