FEARS are growing as the search for missing person Aoife Phelan enters into its fifth day. Ballyroan native Aoife who is four months pregnant, was last seen on Colliers Lane in Portlaoise when she left a friend’s house shortly after 8pm.
Gardaí have said that the investigation is still ongoing. The alarm was raised after Aoife failed to show up to her childminding job on Friday morning.
Posters have been put up all over Portlaoise town, especially on Colliers Lane, where she was last seen. Colliers Lane is a busy road in the town with a lot of walkers, joggers and traffic and it is hoped that someone may have seen something.
There has been a lot of activity about the case on social networking site Facebook over the weekend as Aoife’s friends are appealing to anyone who knows anything to contact the local Gardaí.
Aoife’s employer Darren Bayliss was also using his Twitter account to generate awareness of Aoife’s disappearance, asking everyone using the networking site to keep the word out. He stated that “this has to be the longest and without question the worst bank holiday weekend ever”.
Aoife’s mobile phone was traced to a transmitting mast in Mountmellick at approximately 9pm on Thursday evening. It has been switched off since then.
Aoife is one of 12 children and lives with her parents Michael and Betty in Ballyroan.
Her sister, Leighanne Roche, told the Irish Independent at the weekend that her sister was happy about her pregnancy and looking forward to the birth. “It was my son’s fifth birthday on Friday and Aoife would have sent a text at one minute past midnight to say happy birthday. She is that type of person and very close to all of us.”
The family have declined to comment any further.
“We don’t want to make any more comments until we know more. We don’t know any more than what has already been publicised”, said Ms Roache.
Aoife’s disappearance comes two weeks after 37 year old Offaly woman Catherine Gowing disappeared in Wales. There were also hundreds of people out searching in Kildare at the weekend for missing 18 year old Cormac Clare.
Gardaí are seeking the public’s assistance in tracing the whereabouts of Aoife. She is described as being approximately 5’7’’ in height, slim build, has long blonde/sandy coloured hair and blue eyes.
When last seen she was wearing jeans and a knitted jumper. She also has a red bomber style jacket with her.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Gardaí in Portlaoise on 057 8674100, the Garda Confidential Telephone Line 1800 666 111.