herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Missing Monica's handbag is found in trawl of Liffey

THE handbag carried by missing woman Monica Riordan on the day she vanished has been found in the River Liffey.

Divers searching the waters of the river along the quays in the city centre found her handbag and a credit card in her name during a weekend search.

Teams from the new Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit found the items on Sunday.

The 39-year-old blonde was last seen on December 20 at St John Rogerson's Quay after leaving the office of the Government agency Pobal on Holles Street where she worked.

Her sister Sheila said the finding of Monica's things offered her family some hope that her body will be found eventually.

Emotions

Sheila said there were still questions about what happened to Monica and how she may have ended up in the river. She added that she had mixed emotions about the finding of Monica's handbag and whether someone threw it into the river.

Dozens of her colleagues had blanketed the streets around the city centre office to speak with people and hand out flyers in the days and weeks after her disappearance.

Monica was also seen on the corner of Macken and Pearse Streets on the day she disappeared.

Ms Riordan, originally from Finglas in Dublin, but living in Navan, was working at the Holles Street offices on the morning of December 20, but is thought to have left at about 11am.

In the last reported sighting, she was described as being "disorientated and confused".

Her mobile phone was handed into gardai after it was found near the Grand Canal at about 5.30pm that day.

Ms Riordan is about 5ft 6ins and of medium build, with shoulder-length blonde hair.

When last seen, she was wearing a long, grey coat, dark jeans, runners, sunglasses and carrying a dark handbag.

The garda investigation is still open and anyone with information can still contact Pearse Street garda station at 01-6669000, or the garda confidential line on 1800 666111.

Upbeat

Meanwhile, the search continues for missing Dublin City University student Paul Bunbury. He was last seen after 4pm on February 2.

CCTV footage shows the 19-year-old student from Tulibards, Bridgetown, Co Wexford, with his long hair, full beard and glasses, entering the Eurospar shop on the Ballymun Road in Dublin.

His apartment on campus has been searched with nothing of significance discovered.

His father Mark said recently: "This is so totally out of character. Paul always stayed in contact. He has always been a very upbeat, positive person. He was the one who would cheer you up if you were down in the dumps. "We are just hoping that he has gone off for whatever reason and that he will turn up safe and well."

aokeeffe@herald.ie

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