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Dutch police to investigate Achill man’s disappearance

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Dutch police have commissioned an investigation into the disappearance of Achill man JP Grealis three years ago.
Dutch police have commissioned an investigation into the disappearance of Achill man JP Grealis three years ago.


Dutch police to investigate Achill man’s disappearance – three years later


Anton McNulty

The Dutch police have agreed to carry out an investigation into the disappearance of an Achill man three years after he went missing.
James Patrick (JP) Grealis disappeared after he left a guesthouse in the Dutch town of Breda to look for work on October 23, 2008. The 24 year-old had been working as a carpenter in the Netherlands. At the time, the Dutch police did not treat his disappearance as suspicious, and did not launch an investigation despite the fact there has been no confirmed sightings of Grealis since he vanished, and he has not touched his bank account.
Earlier this month, members of his family travelled to the Netherlands and met with the Breda District Attorney. They were informed last week that a full police investigation will now be held into the mystery disappearance.
“We are relieved that after three years a full investigation will take place but there is also anger that it has taken three years,” Grealis’s sister Helen told The Mayo News. “Hopefully they will do the things they should have done three years ago, like check his bank details and question all the witnesses.”

Three-year campaign

During the past three years the Grealis family has been putting pressure on the Dutch authorities to investigate the disappearance. 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. A €20,000 reward for information on the disappearance was also established, but no information was received.
Exasperated, the family threatened to take legal action against the authorities to force them to investigate the case if the District Attorney had not decided to open the case.
“They have not explained to us why they did not investigate the disappearance three years ago. What the District Attorney has agreed does not happen that often but we were going down a new road in going to court. There are a number of cases like JP’s in Holland and there are others taking the same route as us,” she said.
Helen Grealis said she is confident the police will carry out a thorough investigation into her brother’s disappearance. She added that she will remain in contact with the investigation team  to ensure everything possible is done to find out what happened to her brother.