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Family of missing Achill man critical of Dutch police

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A fresh appeal was made for information regarding the whereabouts of Achill man JP Grealis who went missing in Holland in October 2008.
A fresh appeal was made for information regarding the whereabouts of Achill man JP Grealis who went missing in Holland in October 2008.

Family of missing Achill man critical of Dutch police



Anton McNulty

The family of an Achill man who went missing in the Netherlands three years ago say they will take legal action to force the Dutch police to investigate his disappearance because they feel they have ‘done nothing do date’ to locate him.
James Patrick ‘JP’ Grealis went missing in the Netherlands on October 23, 2008 when he checked out of a B&B in the town of Breda and despite a high profile campaign, there has been no information leading to his whereabouts. The 24-year-old had been working as a carpenter in the Netherlands at the time of his disappearance.
JP disappeared without trace after leaving the B&B and there have been no confirmed sightings of him since. He was due to return to Ireland for Christmas and his bank account has not been touched since he disappeared.
Despite this the Dutch police have not treated his disappearance as suspicious and are of the opinion that as an adult he is entitled to leave the country and break off contact with his family. However JP’s family have never accepted this and this week they are due to meet with the public prosecutor’s office in the Netherlands to try to get it to progress the matter.
JP’s sister Helen told The Mayo News that if the police fail to take the matter seriously they will have to take legal proceedings to force them to complete an official investigation.
“We are not happy with the police. So far they have done little or nothing to date. We have contact with them through the missing persons department and our co-ordinator has done so much for us. But he is limited on what he can do and the problem lies with the district police.
“Since we have been out here we have discovered that there are a high number of missing people in Holland and they are not all treated seriously. Unless something criminal happened they won’t investigate it as suspicious. We are hoping to get an official investigation and if not we will go the court road. We will do everything possible to find JP,” she said.
While in the Netherlands, the family intend to distribute 10,000 posters in numerous areas and hopefully gain some media attention while doing so. They are arranging a TV appeal on the news and also hope to have their story published again in the largest Dutch national newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’, and hopefully in more local newspapers around the Breda and Eindhoven regions.
Last year a cold case team consisting of a retired detective, a criminal psychologist and a well-known local crime reporter started their own inquiry. However, despite this and a €20,000 reward no solid information has been received except for hoax calls which Helen admits are very distressing.
“We have got nothing solid at all, only for a few hoax calls which the investigation team have received. They followed them up but they came to nothing. I have received a few calls and anything I get is passed onto them but they have also been hoaxes. People are just looking for the reward money and since we increased the reward it has been happening a lot. They can be distressing and they just waste our time,” added Helen.