herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Family’s heartache as body of missing pensioner Thomas (81) washes up in England

Thomas Kennedy search
Thomas Kennedy
Thomas Kennedy

The body of missing Finglas pensioner Thomas Kennedy has been found on the coast of England, according to his family.

 

The 81-year-old went to put out the bins at his home in Virginia Park on July 29 last year at around 9pm and had not been seen since.

Thomas had left his wallet and mobile phone behind him  when he disappeared.

But this morning a message was posted on the Missing Person Thomas Kennedy Facebook page to say that his body had been recovered.

condolences

“It is with great sadness that we would like to inform you that the body of Thomas Kennedy has been recovered,” the message said.

“Tommy’s family would like to extend their thanks to people from all over the country who have been involved in the effort to bring him home. Our condolences to family and friends of Thomas.”

The family asked for privacy and directed all queries to the gardai.

“Please respect the privacy of Thomas’ family at this sad time. Thanks to everyone for all the help and support. R.I.P. Thomas xx,” the message ended.

Garda sources said they were liaising with authorities in Finglas Garda Station and the UK before issuing a statement.

It is understood that Thomas’ body was found washed up on the coast at Blackpool yesterday.

Thomas’ death was not being treated as suspicious.

His family saw his 82nd birthday pass in September, and they faced into the possibility that they would never find out what had happened to him.

More than 250 potential sightings were also checked to no avail.

In August, a Dublin taxi man told gardai he believed he may have picked up Thomas shortly after midnight on the night he went missing near his home in Virginia Park.

The driver brought the man from Finglas to Belmayne or Balgriffin but the passenger then changed his mind and they ended up in Baldoyle.

One of Thomas’ sons lives in Baldoyle and there was a sense that maybe Thomas might have been dropped off near that house.

Gardai moved their search to the Baldoyle area at the time after searches in Finglas had proved fruitless. Civil Defence volunteers searched the old race course at Baldoyle but no trace of Thomas was ever found.

During the agonising months with no news, Thomas’ grandchildren would ask their parents where he was.

They were told he was in hospital, because they did not know how to explain things in a way their young minds could take it in.

Before he went missing, Thomas was hospitalised for a spell, which made it easier for the younger children to believe that is where he was.

Despite extensive searches and a poster campaign, and following-up on numerous potential sightings, Thomas’ whereabouts remained a mystery until yesterday.

hnews@herald.ie

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