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Lisa's family deserve end to torment

Editor's Viewpoint

Published 23/02/2016

Lisa Dorrian
Lisa Dorrian

Lisa Dorrian went missing 11 years ago this coming weekend. She is believed to have been murdered by loyalist paramilitaries and her body buried in a secret location. The latest search for her remains has once again proved fruitless but the PSNI has pledged to keep following up any potential leads in a bid to recover her body.

The murder of a young woman - Lisa was 25 when she went missing - is despicable and cowardly in any circumstances but to compound the family's grief by then disposing of the body where it cannot be found adds a particularly vile dimension to the crime.

One only has to look at photographs of Lisa's mum, Patricia, taken around the time of her daughter's disappearance and shortly before her own death last December to see the toll that the ordeal took on her physically. This was a woman who started dying the day her daughter went missing and the often repeated comment that she died of a broken heart rings tragically true in this case.

It is against the natural order of things for a child to die before his or her mother but the grief that Patricia suffered over Lisa was added to immeasurably by the fact that she never found out exactly what happened to her daughter or where her body lies. She never had a grave to visit, somewhere she could go to pray and remember her child.

That also applies to Lisa's dad, John, and her three sisters.

How their hearts must leap each time they hear that police have a new lead in the case and that, perhaps, this time the search for Lisa may be successful. And then comes another blow, the information is wrong, the search meets another dead end, the pain and the questions go on.

Like the police, the family have vowed never to give up the search for Lisa, but what they desperately need is someone with a spark of conscience to give them accurate information.

At this stage the family may even be prepared to forsake justice just to get Lisa's remains back and give her a proper burial.

They know that there are people out there who know the truth of what happened in that Ballyhalbert caravan park 11 years ago. These people know who killed Lisa and where the body was taken.

They can end this family's torment with a single phone call. Decency, humanity or even the desire to get the reward for the recovery of Lisa's remains should compel someone to make that call - and do it now.

Belfast Telegraph

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