Belfast Telegraph

Republic of Ireland's justice chief vows to help Dorrians find murdered Lisa

By Rebecca Black

The Irish Justice Minister has told the family of missing Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian that she will help them in any way she can.

Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald joined Lisa's family at an event in Dublin's Phoenix Park to mark the Republic's National Missing Person's Day.

Lisa's father John and sisters Joanne and Michelle were at the service, which was also attended by families of the Disappeared.

Each of the families were invited to take a single rose out to a lake, where homing pigeons were released and the roses were set on the water. Joanne described the ceremony as "absolutely beautiful".

It was the fourth annual Missing Persons Day in Ireland, and the first which the Dorrians had been invited to.

Joanne told the Belfast Telegraph that they were touched by Ms Fitzgerald taking the time to speak to them personally, and said she assured the family that if the Irish Government could do anything to help, it would.

"It was very poignant and nice to be included. The master of ceremony spoke about Lisa's case," she said. "We got speaking to other families, including the family of Brendan Megraw, who was found in 2014. And even though he has been found they want to continue to be part of this and remember Brendan in that way.

"It was a very emotional service, there wasn't a dry eye in the room as families spoke about what they had been through.

"There was a guy there who has been searching for his brother for 70 years; he went missing in 1945."

Lisa (25) was last seen at a party at a caravan site in Ballyhalbert on February 28, 2005.

Despite land and sea searches, her body has never been found. Loyalists are believed to have been involved in her murder.

The PSNI launched a search earlier this year of land close to Comber, Co Down, as the result of new information.

Joanne said the police investigation remained active, adding that not a month went by when the PSNI didn't hear something about Lisa, and that all leads were examined.

It is almost a year since her mother Patricia died at the age of just 59. Joanne said she believed the trauma of losing Lisa caused her mother's early death.

The family also added their DNA to Forensic Services Ireland, which is working to identify the remains of 16 bodies recovered by the authorities.

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