The heartbroken mother of a man missing for 16 years has tragically passed away not knowing what happened to him.
Nancy Shanahan was still waiting for news on the whereabouts of her son, Aengus “Gussie” Shanahan, when she died. Ms Shanahan, 74, died peacefully at University Hospital Limerick on Friday.
The former school teacher is survived by her husband Bob, sons Roibeard and Gussie, and daughters Reiltin and Grainne.
In an interview in February, Ms Shanahan said that before she died, all she wanted was to know what happened to her son.
Bob and Nancy Shanahan said they believe their son was murdered after he left a pub on Joseph’s St, Limerick City, on the night of February 11, 2000.
Speaking in her home last February as she appealed for information, Ms Shanahan said: “I miss him every day. His birthday was the 23rd of January, he would have been 36.
“He was the baby of the family,” she said. “He was a lovely child, but he got in with the wrong people. He wasn’t cute enough to pick the right people to go around with.”
Pleading for information, she said: “I’d love to know what happened to him. I would love to know where is he is before I die.”
Ms Shanahan was devastated following her son’s disappearance and suffered a stroke in 2001. Her body yesterday lay in repose at Thompson’s Funeral Home, Limerick. Her requiem Mass takes place today at 11am, with burial afterwards at Castlemungret Cemetery.
The Shanahan family has requested family flowers only and donations to Limerick Marine Search and Rescue Service, which conducted long-scale searches for Gussie Shanahan.
Bob Shanahan, 72, also made a direct appeal last February to a man who contacted him in 2007 about Gussie’s disappearance. “I’m appealing for them to come back to us to end our agony,” he said.
Gussie finished work at Dell in Castletroy on the afternoon he disappeared, before meeting his father at Bank of Ireland on O’Connell St, where Mr Shanahan was branch manager.
“He said he was staying out that night with two friends in a flat across from St Joseph’s St.”
Gardaí have established that Gussie went to Coopers bar on St Joseph’s St but did not stay in his friend’s flat.
CCTV footage shows Gussie’s last recorded movements were exiting the bar alone at 10.30pm and walking onto Old School House lane.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone with information to contact Roxboro Rd Garda Station on 061 214340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111, or any Garda station.
Speaking last February, Mr Shanahan said: “We reckon that a few people know what happened, and we hope that somebody will at least have the courage to eventually to tell us where we could get [Gussie’s] body and give him a Christian burial.
“Nancy and I are both now in our 70s and we just want his body so we can get closure on the whole thing before we die. Otherwise we’ll come back and haunt those people.”
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