mystery | 

New CCTV images have emerged in search for missing Dublin mum Bernadette Connolly

Jade Connolly who is appealing for information to help locate her missing mother Bernadette Connolly Photo: Gerry Mooney

Conor Feehan

New CCTV images have emerged showing missing Dublin mother Bernadette Connolly on a north Dublin beach eight minutes after she is believed to have taken a photograph of the local scenery with her mobile phone.

Ms Connolly (45) got a taxi from Swords in north Dublin to the Shoreline Hotel in Donabate on Friday January 7 and arrived just before noon.

At an appeal for information from the public last Friday gardai issued CCTV footage showing her at the hotel car park walking towards the beach wearing a black Nike training top, black Nike leggings, black trainers with a white sole, and a black woolly hat with black bobble.

Her jacket, and a bag she had with her, were later found at the other end of the beach towards Malahide, and an examination of the phone showed it was used to take a photograph of the coast at 12.38pm.

Bernadette’s daughter Jade has now said that after the appeal last week where she urged people on the Malahide coast to check their CCTV systems gardai believe they now have an image of her near where the photo could have been taken, but at 12.46pm.

“Somebody’s CCTV picked her up in the background, so now I’m hoping that anyone living at that part of the coast, or has cameras pointing towards it, can check them from 12.45pm onwards to see if there are any more images,” Jade Connolly told the Irish Independent.

Bernadette’s family and friends have been working tirelessly to leaflet the houses near Donabate and Malahide to raise awareness of her disappearance.

“I’m being optimistic, but I have to be realistic too. The not-knowing what happened is the worst part,” said Jade.

“But if anyone took photographs on the beach that day, the day after Little Christmas, I would urge them to check them and see if my mother is in them in the background,” she added.

Ms Connolly also said that a pink towel was found near her mother’s jacket and bag, but she doesn’t know if it belongs to her or not.

“So if anyone saw anyone with a pink towel they should come forward too,” she explained.

Jade said it is not likely that her mother went for a swim.

“The most she might do would be to dip her feet, but maybe she took her jacket and bag off to do that. We don’t know.

“Her jacket and bag were found up on the beach away from the water line, and the man who found them said others walking past would have seen them. So if anybody did see them I would ask them to contact gardai,” she added.

From the position of the bag and coat, and the knowledge of where the photograph was taken and the CCTV images, it would appear that Bernadette walked the coast from the Shoreline Hotel to the Malahide end, and then turned and started making her way back, leaving her bag and jacket on the sand on the return journey.

But the lack of witnesses means gardai and Bernadette’s family cannot be certain.

“The last calls made on the phone are to friends, and they have said they were normal conversations with nothing unusual,” said Ms Connolly.

Asked at the appeal last week what her mother’s mood and state of mind was before she went out that day, Ms Connolly said her form was great.

“She went about her usual routine. My mam is a very solid woman. And everybody leaned on my mam. She was like the Del Boy of women,” she said with a smile, referring to the popular Only Fools and Horses character that kept the family together through thick and thin.

“She was in great form, and went about her day, made my granny and granddad breakfast and then she headed out.

“She said ‘look Da, I fancy going out. Do you mind?’ and he said ‘go out and enjoy yourself, I'll see you later’,” she said.

Bernadette is described as being 5 foot 6 inches in height with a slim build, hazel eyes and long black hair.

Gardaí continue to appeal to anyone with any information on Bernadette’s whereabouts, to speak in person with Gardaí today at the beach, or alternatively contact Swords Garda Station 01 666 4700, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

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