Aoife Phelan is four months pregnant and was last seen near her home in Portlaoise, Co. Laois on Thursday night
The family of a missing pregnant woman are desperately searching for her and 'out of their minds with worry' after her disappearance on Thursday. Aoife Phelan, 30, is four months pregnant. She was last seen at Colliers Lane near her home in Portlaoise, Co. Laois on Thursday night. The pretty mother-to-be was visiting a friend when she received a message from someone asking to meet her and has not been seen since. Her last mobile phone signal was been traced to Mountmellick town 10km away, her family said. They believe the signal was detected on Friday but cannot say at what time.
Speaking from the family home near Ballyroan, Co. Laois, last night, Aoife's father Michael told the MoS: 'This is totally out of character for Aoife. 'She lost her phone once before and she let everyone know on Facebook. This is just something she would not do. She has no passport and has never left the country. All Aoife likes is being at home with the family. 'We can't eat or sleep, we have been up all night with worry and tonight will be the same, we have no clue where she is or what has happened.
Her parents, Betty and Michael Phelan say her disappearance is out of character and they can't eat or sleep because of their worry
'She got a message to meet someone and off she went and that's it. We don't know anything more. I don't want her to be another Jo Jo Dullard, but you can't help thinking these things; you just think of everything.' Aoife's disappearance comes just two weeks after Offaly woman Catherine Gowing, 37, disappeared in north Wales. Catherine is now believed to have been murdered. And yesterday (Saturday) a massive search was also launched for Co. Kildare teenager Cormac Clare, who has been missing from his Kilteel home for five days.
Aoife, the fifth of 12 children, lives in Portlaoise where she works part-time as a childminder. She comes home to stay with her parents Michael, 58, and Betty, 57, in Ballyroan every weekend. Two of Aoife's sisters, Leanne and Lavinia, boarded a flight yesterday from Australia when they heard she was missing and are due to return home today. Last night the family home was packed with family members and friends. 'Everyone is just worried sick,' said Betty. 'The kids and friends and family have all been out putting up posters around the town and handing out leaflets with her details and photo. 'People are coming and going all the time; we just hope we will get some good news.
'Friday morning, the woman she minds the child for rang to say Aoife never showed up and that wasn't like her. We thought she just slept in so we didn't think anything of it, but by 5 o'clock I started to get really worried. 'We reported it to the gardaí who are now working very hard to get to the bottom of what has happened. Her phone has been switched off, her money wasn't collected in the post office and there is nothing happening on her Facebook page.' Betty said she last spoke to Aoife on Thursday at around 2pm.
'There wasn't a bother on her; she was in great form,' she said. 'She reminded me that it was Leanne's little fella's birthday and that she had already gotten him a present. There's no way Aoife would miss that party. 'This is totally not like her and there's no chance she just went off, she would always have her phone on no matter what. The last time her phone went missing she had it up on Facebook, but her Facebook page hasn't been touched.' Aoife's employer, Darren Bayliss, began tweeting on Friday that his au pair was missing, and last night thanked users on Twitter and Facebook for helping to spread the word about her disappearance.
Gardaí made house-to-house enquiries on Colliers Lane yesterday close to where Aoife went missing. She had called to a male friend's house in Colliers View on Thursday night where she received a message to meet someone. The 5ft 6in blonde is understood to have been wearing a pair of jeans and a pink top at the time of her disappearance. She left her friend's house and took a right turn out of Colliers View and walked towards Colliers Lane. Yesterday, at the spot close to where Aoife was last seen, her brother Michael, who has been putting up leaflets around the area, said he was 'deeply worried'.
'Too much time is passing and we just don't know where she is. Colliers Lane is always busy with drivers, walkers and joggers. People are always out with their dogs here so somebody must have seen something. 'I don't like when it starts getting dark and we go into another night looking for her. Please God we will have some good news. Somebody must have seen something.' Aoife's father described his daughter as an 'easy-going, fun-loving girl' who got on well with her family. 'She is a big Chelsea supporter and I'm into Liverpool so there's great craic in the house when there's a match on.' Last year 8,511 people went missing in Ireland, and 38 have still to be found.
Daily Mail UK