Irishman missing for 14 years 'possibly picked up while hitchhiking'

Irishman missing for 14 years 'possibly picked up while hitchhiking'

Reports have emerged today that a Co Fermanagh man missing for 14 years was picked up while hitchhiking in Cork last month.

Michael Lynch was last seen in Clones, Co Monaghan, during the afternoon of January 6, 2002.

According to the Examiner, gardai have issued an appeal for any information after a potential sighting of the missing father-of-four.

Clare gardai received information on the possible sighting of Mr Lynch in April of this year.

The paper reports that the gardai were called by a young man who picked up a hitchhiker on his route from Co Cork to Co Clare on April 15.

Travelling to Ballyvaughan in Co Clare, the driver picked an elderly man in Mallow, Co Cork.

After stopping in Ennis to drop off his passenger, the man became worried about the condition of the hitchhiker.

Thinking that the older man might be in need of assistance, he perused the missing persons section on the garda website where he came across the profile of Michael Lynch.

On contacting the authorities, the man described the hitchhiker as being in his early 70s, around 5'10'' in height, bald, of medium build and sporting a moustache.

Mr Lynch’s original description was that of a man with medium build, 5'11'' in height and having grey receding hair.

Mr Lynch was 54 years old when he went missing.

The young man driving the car has spoken to gardai from Monaghan, where Mr Lynch was last seen, while the missing man's family have been spoken to.

The gardai are appealing for anyone who might have information on the missing individual to contact them.

Sergeant Joe Downey of Ennis station told the Examiner: "If anyone knows anything about this man or has any information, we would ask them to contact us in Ennis and we will follow up any calls."

Anyone with information can contact Ennis garda station on 065 6848100.

Originally from Co Fermanagh, Michael Lynch had moved into a flat in Clones, Co Monaghan, following the break-up of his marriage months before.

He was last seen going down the street at 2pm and then disappeared.

"All his belongings were in the flat. He went somewhere in his car and was never seen again," his son Peter, who was just 12 years old when his dad disappeared, said last year.

"A policeman in the north was reading what was on the computer screen and he said the car was spotted going through an army checkpoint in Newry six days after he disappeared.

"But whether it was my dad driving the car or not we will never know."

The white Mitsubishi Galant, registration TIL 4670, has never been seen since.

Peter said: "I don’t know if my dad is dead or alive. Christmas is not the same. You have to go on but it is always in your head. All we want is closure."