Mary Kelly said she can’t stand the emotional pain during the festive season — not knowing what became of her youngest son, Richard.
He was last seen alive on April 23 last and would have been 18 on May 28.
Richard, who was nicknamed “Happy”, has two older brothers, Edward, 20, and Bobby, 23.
Extensive searches carried out by the gardaí and the army have been to no avail.
Ms Kelly, estranged from her husband, said: “I’m counting each day. He’s now 223 days gone. I can’t describe the heartache. If somebody told me I won the Lottery it would mean nothing to me.
“To be quite honest, I have to live in hope but part of me knows he is in heaven but the other part of me has to keep going as I have to live in hope every day of the week.”
She said somebody must know what happened her son. In an appeal to anyone with information, she pleaded: “If you know, go to a priest or somebody and put me out of my misery. As it is, I can’t even grieve for him. If we could give him a proper burial at least there would be a grave we could visit. Richard would never just walk off, saying nothing. He would never do that to me.”
Ms Kelly said she was hoping Christmas was over.
“I would love to get an injection and then just wake up after Christmas when it was all over.”
She bought Richard a birthday present in May and she has bought him a new mobile phone for Christmas.
She said: “Doing this helps keep me going. The gardaí keep in touch, but I think somebody has done something awful to him.”
Her son will be eight months on the missing persons list on Christmas Eve.
“I have decided to have a Mass said for him on December 17 rather than so close to Christmas Day.”
Richard Kelly was last seen alive driving in the Dublin Road of Limerick. His car was later found abandoned near Annacotty.
Anyone with information should contact gardaí at Roxboro, 061 214340.