ON this day (January 3) 25 years ago, Imelda Keenan disappeared from Waterford City.
She was last seen at her home on William Street, wearing leopard skin trousers and a denim jacket on a Monday in 1994. She was 5 foot 4, brown hair, blue eyes and just 22 years of age. Her brother Gerry has never stopped trying to found out what happened to her.
“Those 25 years have taken their toll on our family,” Gerry told the Waterford News & Star. “My mother Liz died of a broken heart, our brother Ned died of cancer in 2011 – accelerated by stress – and our oldest brother Donal died earlier this year. That’s three hearts gone from our family, each one having died without ever knowing what happened to our precious little girl.”
Gerry says that he knows, in his gut and “from the bottom of his heart” that there are 2-3 people in Waterford City right now – possibly reading this article – who know what happened to Imelda.
“Personally, I don’t know how someone could hold on to that kind of information, especially when they know the kind of closure that it could bring to our family,” he said. “They know something and they are sitting on that information, and that’s hard to take. All I can hope for now is that their conscience finally gets through to them, even if it’s on their death bed. I’ve waited 25 years, what’s another year?”
Gerry praised the Gardaí in Waterford who have continued to liaise with him about the investigation into his sister’s disappearance. He also made a plea to Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.
“I want him to give the Gardaí that little bit of extra power so that they can dig a little deeper into persons of interest,” Gerry said. “It’s not enough to bring someone in once, especially if they are a strong suspect, and then just let them go if there is no immediate evidence. They need to be brought in again, followed, properly investigated.”
Gerry was among the speakers at the sixth annual National Missing Person’s Day event, which was held at Dublin’s Kings Inns earlier this month. He said that he has never given up hope that there could still be a “light at the end of the tunnel”.
“I can’t die without knowing what happened to Imelda, I just can’t,” Gerry said. “25 years has done a lot to my family but it hasn’t made us bitter. We don’t want revenge. We just want to bring Imelda home…give her a Christian burial and finally close the book on what has been a horrible story for us all. I visit her plaque on William Street all the time and I know people see me there. Someone knows what happened, and I’m begging them now to do the honourable thing. It’s not too late.”
If you know what happened to Imelda, or know someone else that might, please ring the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111