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‘We will find her’


MISSING Sandra Collins

Sandra’s brother still believes her case will be solved

Anton McNulty

THE brother of missing Mayo woman Sandra Collins says he has not given up hope of finding out what happened to her.
Saturday, December 4, marked the 21st anniversary of Sandra’s disappearance. The day also saw the lighting of a Christmas tree in Killala dedicated to people who have disappeared. The tree’s lights were switched on by Mayo footballers Padraic O’Hora and Jordan Flynn. Sandra’s brother Patrick said that during the ceremony he got a feeling that their campaign for information will not be in vain.
“I was standing there on Saturday as the tree was being lit, and it was like Sandra was standing there behind me, and I got a sense that we will find her,” he told The Mayo News. “I am not being unrealistic when I say this, but I have a feeling that we will find her and it will not be too far into the future,” he told The Mayo News.
Twenty-eight-year-old Sandra Collins went missing from Killala on the night of December 4, 2000, and despite a lengthy search of the area, she has never been seen since. Her family believe that she was killed, but despite an extensive investigation her body has never been found.
Martin Earley of Banagher, Carrowmore-Lacken, was charged with her murder, but he was acquitted by direction of the judge following an 18-day trial in 2014.

Another milestone
Patrick explained that Sandra would be due to turn 50 this month, and said that her birthday will be another day where the pain of her disappearance will hard to bear. He said that the passing of time has brought no relief to their suffering.
“Sandra is 21 years missing, but the pain gets much worse every year. They say time is a healer but that has not been our experience and I think our suffering is unique from others. We have gone from wanting to find Sanrda to finding out she is dead and has been murdered, and now we want to know where she is. Time has not healed anything because there are always questions that need answering,” he said.
During the past year, Sandra’s case has appeared on Crimewatch and a door-to-door campaign did lead to some people coming forward with new information.
Patrick said the family recently had a meeting with gardaí investigating the case, and they are hopeful of solving it.
Patrick is calling on anyone who may have some information to come forward in confidence with what they have.
“There are people who know something about what happened to Sandra, and we would plead with them to come forward in confidence. You will be treated with respect and dignity. Even if you do not want to go to the Gardaí there is a confidential number you can ring,” he said.
The confidential number for anyone with information on the disappearance of Sandra Collins is 087 7546753.