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Family of missing Achill man ‘will not give up’

Missing man James Patrick Grealis

Family of missing Achill man ‘will not give up’

Anton McNulty


The family of missing Achill man, James Patrick (JP) Grealis have vowed to keep the pressure on the Dutch authorities to ensure they carry out a thorough investigation into his disappearance.
A demonstration organised by the Grealis family took place outside the Dutch embassy last Wednesday, and a letter of complaint supported with a petition was presented to the Dutch Ambassador, Mr Robert Engels.
The family have been unhappy with the Dutch police’s handling of the investigation into JP’s disappearance. The family and over 50 supporters are calling on the Ambassador to convey their concerns to the Dutch authorities.
JP Grealis, a carpenter from Tonragee, Achill, disappeared without a trace after he left a guesthouse in the Dutch town of Breda to look for work on October 23, 2008. The demonstration last week coincided with his 28th birthday.
Ambassador Engels met with JP’s three sisters – Helen Grealis, Caroline O’Donnell and Bernadette Spandler – during a ten-minute meeting inside the embassy.
Speaking to The Mayo News, Helen said she was happy that the Ambassador met them and would pass on their concern to the Dutch authorities and they hoped to get a response in the next three to four weeks.
Mr Engels said he understood their anxiety about the situation and would do what he could, but he stressed he could not apply pressure as such.
“We were happy that the Ambassador met us, but we will have to see what he returns with. We have been given false promises before, so hopefully this will follow through,” she said.

March to Dáil
Following the meeting with the Ambassador, the family and their supporters marched towards Leinster House where they met with a representative of the Taoiseach as well as a number of TDs including Micheál Martin, Michael Ring, Dara Calleary, Luke Flanagan and Gerry Adams.
Helen explained that they all took a keen interest in JP’s disappearance and agreed to do what they could to assist the family. She said that she hopes that they will be good to their word, because the family would not give up hope about finding out what happened to JP.
“Numerous TDs met with us, and it was great to see them take an interest in our case. I have e-mailed them to thank them, but I will be following up with them to see what they can do for us. Yesterday [Wednesday] was just the beginning, and if they are not able to help us will will still continue on.
“We will never give up hope … Our brother is out there somewhere, he has a mother and father waiting for him to come home. We need answers, and we will not give up until they are answered,” she said.

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