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Grealis family make fresh appeal to end ten years of ‘torment’


APPEAL JP Grealis, who went missing in Holland in 2008.

Anton McNulty

THE sisters of Achill man, JP Grealis, who went missing in The Netherlands ten years ago, have made a fresh appeal for information to help bring an end to a decade of torment and suffering.
James Patrick (JP) Grealis from Tonragee, Achill went missing in the Dutch town of Breda in October 2008 while looking for work and there has been no sign of him since. He was 24 years of age at the time and the Dutch authorities have refused to carry out a full investigation, because they say there is no evidence a crime has been committed.
The position of the Dutch police has exacerbated the Grealis family who have fought a decade long campaign to get JP’s disappearance fully investigated.
In a fresh appeal, JP’s sisters, Helen and Caroline travelled to The Netherlands where they appealed for somebody to come forward with information on what happened their brother.
“We are here again because we know we won’t give up. He is missing ten years and although we have done a lot in those ten years … we have tried to find him but we still have no answer and there are a lot of unknowns. We are here again appealing to try and get information for anyone who may have known anything ten years ago and might be able to help us get information on what exactly happened our brother,” Helen said in a video released by Dutch regional newspaper, BN DeStem.
She added: “It is ten years on now and we are hoping somebody will come forward with some new information to help us find what happened our brother. It is a long ten years to live with this torment of not knowing and suffering and we want it to end. Unfortunately we feel our brother is no longer alive and someone must know something to help us find what happened him so we can bring him home back to Ireland.”

Police to court
Over the last ten years the family have brought the Dutch police to court without success to get the case investigated and they have also set up an award for information with support from Dutch crime journalist Jolande van der Graaf of De Telegraaf newspaper.
The case is now considered a cold case and the family are working with an investigator with the hope of getting fresh information. JP’s last known whereabout were on October 23, 2008 when he checked out of a guest house in Breda, while looking for work as a carpenter. Up to then, he was in regular contact with his family in Achill, and had been actively looking for work.
Under Dutch law as long as there is no serious suspicion of a crime, the police have no legal basis to request important privacy-sensitive information such as bank and call details.
Carlo Schippers, head of the National Missing Persons Bureau in The Netherlands told the local media that the legislation makes it difficult for these cases to be investigated.