Instead of enjoying a family trip to the cinema and to Santa yesterday, Ciara Byrne was praying for the safe return of Diarmuid Twomey, 31, who went missing in Cork early on Sunday morning.
“It’s very out of character for him,” said Ciara. “He’d do anything for anyone. I’ve just told the children he’s gone fishing. I don’t know what to say to them.”
She said Diarmuid would not have gone this long without phoning her to check on their children, aged two and three, or his parents.
“I’m waiting for him to walk in the door and say I was up in a friend’s house but time is pushing on,” she told Neil Prendeville on. “Hopefully we’ll have him home for Christmas where he belongs, and that he’ll be able to spend Christmas with his family, and with his girls.”
Yesterday, gardaí, specialist search dogs teams, a coast guard helicopter, civil defence units, and family and friends scoured fields in Ballinahina, Whitechurch, and Carrignavar .
Gurranabraher-based Insp Gary McPolin, who is co-ordinating the search, said : “I would appeal to farmers and landowners in these areas to check their land, their buildings and outhouses and to contact us if they find anything unusual.”
Mr Twomey was last seen at around 3am on Sunday near Fairhill. He had spent Saturday night with family and friends celebrating his nephew’s 18th birthday in Bishopstown, before going to a house party in Fairhill.
Ciara left for home in a taxi at around 3am and Diarmuid was meant to follow in another taxi later. However, it is understood he left the house on foot, and walked towards Blackstone Bridge.
His phone was found in a farmyard at Ballynahina, off Whitechurch Rd, at about 11.30am. Sniffer dogs traced his scent through fields to a nearby byroad, where the trail went cold.
Mr Twomey, who is 6ft tall, of stocky build, with dark brown hair, was wearing a blue check shirt, beige chinos, and brown runners when last seen.
Insp McPolin issued a specific appeal for taxi drivers, who may have picked up a fare in the Fairhill area matching Mr Twomey’s description, to contact them on 021 4946200.
Meanwhile, the search for David Mannix, 50, focused on stretches of the river Lee yesterday. Mr Mannix was last seen at around 9.30am on December 12 at Bakers Rd in Gurranabraher.
He was driving a 00 C-registered black Ford Focus and was last seen wearing a dark green coat, dark suit pants, and dark shoes.
He is described as being approximately 5ft 8in tall, with grey hair, and a grey moustache. Anyone with information should contact gardaí in Gurranabraher .