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'Come forward' Jo Jo Dullard's sister appeals for 'closure' on 26th anniversary of disappearance

"We all need closure. Jo Jo needs to be brought home because she was trying to make her way home that day"

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JoJo Dullard

JoJo Dullard

JoJo Dullard

The sister of missing woman Jo Jo Dullard has described her as a “loving, very sensitive and kind person starting out in life” as she made a fresh appeal for information on the anniversary of her disappearance. 

The 21-year-old was last heard from on this day exactly 26 years ago, when she phoned a friend from a phone box in Moone, Co Kildare at about 11.30pm on November 9, 1995.

She was hitching a lift to travel home to Callan, Co Kilkenny after missing the direct bus from BusÁras.

She was never seen again and her body was never found. A missing person case was upgraded to a murder investigation a year ago.

Her sister Kathleen Bergin made an emotional appeal on Newstalk, telling those who have may have information that “the decent thing to do now would be to come forward and tell us what they know."

“Our family has been traumatised by it all,” she said.” “It really has affected her family and her friends.

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Jo Jo Dullard’s sister, Kathleen Bergin (Niall Carson/PA)

Jo Jo Dullard’s sister, Kathleen Bergin (Niall Carson/PA)

Jo Jo Dullard’s sister, Kathleen Bergin (Niall Carson/PA)

“We all need closure. Jo Jo needs to be brought home because she was trying to make her way home that day. That is all she wanted to do was to get back home and there is a person out there who has information that can help her finish that journey.

“Jo Jo was a loving, very sensitive and kind person starting out in life. She never even got a chance to live that life and you would often wonder where would she be now today.”

She said finding out what happened to Jo Jo would mean everything to her family and friends.

“They robbed Jo Jo of her life - the person that took her - and they robbed us of watching Jo Jo live her life and of Jo Jo enjoying her nieces and nephews and they just took so much from our family.

“I think if somebody has that information now - and we know what they have - the decent thing to do now would be to come forward and tell us what they know so the gardaí can put those pieces together and help us bring Jo Jo home.”

Last month gardai concluded the search of wooded area in Co Kildare for Jo Jo and another missing woman, Deirdre Jacob, with no evidence having been uncovered.

A specialist Garda and forensic team had been searching the wooded site after a witness reported seeing unusual activity there on the day Deirdre disappeared in July 1998.

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The search party included up to 15 gardaí, members of the Garda National Technical Bureau and an excavator.

Gardaí decided to search the area which spans three to four acres after re-interviewing a witness who reported unusual activity at the wood on the same day.

The 18-year-old vanished in broad daylight while walking home to her parents’ house on the outskirts of Newbridge.

The witness saw a car with the boot open reversing on a disused and overgrown road beside the wood at around tea-time on the same day.

Deirdre was last seen at around 3pm in Newbridge, about 15 kilometres from the search area at Brewel East. The witness had been on site, helping the Garda search team to locate the exact spot where he saw the car.

Deirdre’s disappearance was upgraded to murder two years ago. Larry Murphy, a convicted rapist now living in the UK, is the chief suspect for her murder.

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A memorial at the last known spot where Jo Jo Dullard was seen in Moone, Co Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

A memorial at the last known spot where Jo Jo Dullard was seen in Moone, Co Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

A memorial at the last known spot where Jo Jo Dullard was seen in Moone, Co Kildare (Niall Carson/PA)

Gardaí are awaiting direction from the Director of Public Prosecution on whether he can be charged with the crime.

They will assess all of the materials gathered at a case conference once the search draws to a close to decide what items merit forensic examination.

Deirdre's disappearance occurred less than three years after Jo Jo disappeared in Moone.

We recently revealed how a truck-driver told gardaí he saw a woman running 'naked and screaming' through the Kildare village of Moone on the night of Jo Jo was last seen.

The sighting was 9km from Usk ­Little, the site of the dig for the remains of Deirdre Jacob.

Sources have confirmed the driver made a statement to the Garda Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT) at Naas Garda station in November last year and the sighting was accepted as credible by investigators.

The Sunday World learned how the driver visited Moone in the hours prior to giving the statement to refamiliarise himself with the geography of the Co Kildare village before driving to Naas Garda station.

A woman who spoke to him told Sunday World he approached her looking for the area of the Jo Dullard memorial.

"It had been removed at the time because they were doing up the road," she said. "He didn't know exactly where it was, so he asked me. I walked down and I showed him and I asked him: 'Did you know her or something? Were you a relative?'

"And he said: 'No. Twenty-five years ago, I was passing through here at 11 o'clock at night with the boss in a truck'.

He told her: "I was only a chap at the time and there was a woman there running ­naked in the street, screaming!" He said that they pulled up and the boss got out and he ran after her. "But the more he went after her the more she ran."

The driver told the woman that after his boss failed to help the screaming woman, he phoned gardaí from a phone box in Moone.

"He said they told him: 'Don't worry, it'll be grand, we'll send a car out'," the woman said. "And he said about three days later Jo Jo Dullard was missing, so they went to give a statement.

"But the gardaí said it was a different woman altogether because Jo Jo Dullard had been seen in Castledermot afterwards.

"He said in all of the years this was the first day he'd been asked to give a statement since that time. He was going to Naas that day to give gardaí a statement.

"He was very honest and very genuine. "

A source confirmed to the Sunday World that the Serious Crime Review Team had taken a statement from the man at Naas Garda station.

"In June of last year, Garda announced the probe into Jo Jo Dullard's disappearance had been upgraded to murder," the source told the Sunday World.

"As part of that investigation, gardaí have been going back over previous statements and going out to talk to people who had made statements at the time.

"It would appear that was what was happening last November. And this statement that a woman had been seen running naked through the village of Moone is now something that is being looked at again."

As the searches got underway Jo Jo’s sister Kathleen said: “We always try and hang on to that hope that someday we will find her.

"You often hear about other cases, say after 20 or 30 years or more and the next thing somebody comes forward with a little piece of information and they have their answers, they find their loved ones and the case is solved.

"So that little bit of hope is there.”

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