| 8.6°C Dublin

Mum's joy as Aoife (19) turns up safe after family's appeal

THE 19-year-old girl who sparked a missing person hunt when she disappeared for over 40 hours after Saturday night's concert in the Phoenix Park has been found after the Herald highlighted the case.

It is understood that Aoife Finan was spotted on a bus from Dublin to her native Co Cork shortly after 6pm yesterday, which led her to ring her worried mother Sinead.

Sinead later recalled: "I couldn't believe it -- it was the phone call that I had been hoping and praying for all day.

"It was the best phone call I have ever got."

Her fears were heightened after it emerged the concert had been marred with drunkenness, drugs and violence.

"She told me she was fine and was on a bus back from Dublin to Cork. She was a bit weepy and emotional but we're all so relieved that she is okay," she said.

Sinead later collected her daughter from the bus and, after a tearful reunion, the pair travelled back home to Cobh.



Mobile

"I'm so relieved. I was a nervous wreck because of all the worries and fears that kept going through my head over the day.

"You never think something like this is going to happen to you," she said.

"I was at my wits' end because I suppose it is human nature to fear the worst. This was totally out of character."

Shop worker Aoife had attended the concert with eleven pals from Cobh, Co Cork, but nothing was heard from her since she was seen at a roundabout at the Phoenix Park at around 11.30pm on Saturday -- shortly after the gig ended.

The last contact anyone had with her was when she rang one of her friends from the mobile of a man that she bumped into after getting lost from them.

A bag containing her mobile phone and other items was located in the park by an ambulance employee at 11.50pm.

Aoife's father, Eric, said last night that the family were absolutely "over the moon" that the teenager had been located safe and well.

"We are very grateful to everyone that helped with the initial appeal for information on Aoife. We want to thank everyone who helped.

"It is the news that we had prayed for," he said.

kfoy@herald.ie