Reward of €10,000 for new information on missing Imelda

Imelda Keenan, who went missing in Waterford city on January 3rd 1994.

Imelda Keenan, who went missing in Waterford city on January 3rd 1994.

The family of a woman who disappeared near her Waterford city centre home almost 16 years ago have made a €10,000 reward available for new information regarding her whereabouts.

Imelda Keenan, aged 22 at the time, was last seen in the Lombard Street area of the city on Monday, January 3rd 1994, close to her William Street flat.

On December 9th 2008, Imelda’s family, from Mountmellick in County Laois, erected a plaque in honour of their sister on the bridge over John’s River on Lombard Street, near the last place she was seen.

Just weeks before the 16th anniversary of her disappearance, Imelda’s family hope that their renewed appeal for information may shed some new light on their ongoing plight.

While a pre-existing reward of €10,000 remains on offer from Crimestoppers, the Keenan family hope their additional reward might provide new impetus in establishing what became of Imelda.

“We’ve got together as a family to come up with this reward, which we hope will lead to new information about what happened to our sister,” said her brother Gerry.

Gerry, who lived in the city at the time of Imelda’s disappearance, said every Christmas without Imelda has been difficult for his family, especially for their late mother, who passed away a year ago.

“Imelda was a very shy girl – she had a small circle of friends,” he said. “She was on an Anco (FAS) course at the time in Waterford and wouldn’t have been the greatest of mixers socially.

“But there has to be someone out there who saw something or knows something about what happened to her.”

He continued: “In the fortnight after she went missing, I fully expected that Imelda’s body would be taken out of the Suir, found in The People’s Park or somewhere out in the county. But nothing – not a shred of clothing, a shoe or a strand of DNA – has ever, ever been found that could have led to establishing what happened to Imelda.”

Thanking the Gardaí and the local media for their highlighting Imelda’s case throughout the past 15 years, Gerry Keenan said his family couldn’t rule her still being alive out of the question.

“If we thought like that every day since she disappeared, I think a few of us would have condemned ourselves to early graves by now,” he said.

“With no evidence suggesting that the only outcome of this case will be the discovery of a body, you can’t abandon hope completely.”

Since Imelda’s disappearance, the small amount of money that she had saved from both Social Welfare and her Credit Union account remain untouched, which suggests she didn’t leave the jurisdiction.

“Somebody out there knows something, there’s absolutely no doubting that,” said Gerry.

“Unless you’ve been through something like this yourself, it’s impossible to know what it feels like, to wonder what’s happened to a loved one all these years.

“One way or another, we as a family, and the Gardaí for their part, want to close the book on this and not leave this matter unresolved. We need closure and I hope and pray that someone out there can help make this happen.”

The file on Imelda Keenan’s disappearance remains open at Waterford Garda Station.

If you have any information about Imelda’s disappearance, please contact Waterford Gardaí on 051-305300 or call the confidential Garda line on 1800-666-111

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