A number of families of missing persons including Michael and Bernadette Jacob, parents of Deirdre Jacob who was last seen in Newbridge on 28th of July 1998, recently attended a meeting with the Minister for Justice, according to Kildare South Fine Gael TD and Minister Martin Heydon.
Minister Martin Heydon said “I recently attended a meeting with Deirdre’s parents Michael and Bernadette Jacob and Minister for Justice Helen McEntee in the Department along with some other relatives of missing persons.
“Minister McEntee heard the lived experience of the Jacob’s and others. Along with Minister James Browne a number of reforms are being worked on to give the best chance of finding missing loved ones and ensuring family members voices are heard through the most traumatic of times for any family.
“Families who have lost loved ones in tragic circumstances have their grief compounded by a lack of closure or finality. Some families do not know where their loved ones are buried and what has happened to them.
“A DNA testing facility for families of missing persons is available for any family of missing persons to engage with An Garda Síochána. I would also urge members of the public to report any information that may assist in solving a missing person case to the Gardaí as it is never too late.
“At the meeting Michael Jacobs called for changes to legislation which requires human remains to be reinterred within 48 hours of exhumation. “This does not allow scientists time to use new advanced technology to take 3D scans of skulls or other methods to identify the person,” he added.
Both Ministers confirmed that this legislation is antiquated and dates to time of body snatchers, it needs reform to allow scientists time to carry out scans, there is a commitment on behalf of the Minister to reform this.
“I think the Minister understands that families are suffering a great deal, and she showed a genuine resolve to find solutions. We have agreed a further meeting in four months to discuss progress to date. A number of the issues on the families agenda are under the remit of the Gardai, therefore, a request was made to meet with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.” stated father of missing Deirdre Jacobs, Michael Jacobs.