Memorial is held in Mayo for missing woman

Her family hasn’t given up hope.

Memorial is held in Mayo for missing woman

Sandra Collins, 28, disappeared without a trace 15 years ago in Killala, Co Mayo. Her body has never been found - but her family continues to search for her.

Around 300 people attended a remembrance service yesterday. Afterwards Sandra’s campaigning family unveiled a memorial to her at the last place she was seen alive.

A marble plaque has been erected along the pier in Killala to remind people that she is much loved and missed by her family.

“We travel, we search, we pray and cry. No answers, no leads, no reasons why,” part of the memorial reads.

People who attended the service in St Tiernan’s Church in Crossmolina, Co Mayo, later went to the pier where they released balloons in her memory.

“We prayed with the family and prayed for them and we remembered Sandra,” said parish priest, Fr Francis Judge.

“It was a simple service. I told the family they were not alone because the community was behind them.”

Fr Judge said that while the memorial service would be a comfort to the family, their search for Sandra would continue.

“Our service today does not put an end to their search for Sandra but it gives them shelter for the night.”

Her brother, Patrick, said they just wanted people to know that they had loved Sandra, still loved her and were still looking for her.

A man was acquitted of her murder at the Central Criminal Court last year after the judge told the jury there was insufficient evidence to convict him.

Patrick said that after the trial the family decided to erect a plaque in her memory.

The family got permission from Mayo County Council to put the plaque on a wall by the pier.

Only this week gardaí returned some of Sandra’s belongings to her family.

Patrick said his mother, Eleanor, 53, who had passed away in 2004, did not want to die without her daughter being found.

“Our mum had to deal with losing our brother, who was 24 years old, in an accident just six months before Sandra went missing,” said Patrick.

“No person or family should have to go through what we are going through. We keep telling ourselves that Sandra is with Mum and her brother in heaven. That is the only bit of solace her family has.” Patrick said

  • Anyone with information can call the Garda confidential line at 1800666111.

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