Belfast Telegraph

Anxious wait for family as river search for woman continues

Missing: Dolores Hughes
Missing: Dolores Hughes

By Mairead Holland

The family of a Co Armagh woman missing for 10 days is watching and waiting anxiously as search teams scour a river for her.

Dolores Hughes (62), a grandmother and mother-of-four, was last seen in the Moy area of Co Tyrone last Wednesday, June 5.

Police and volunteer rescue teams began searching a nine-mile stretch of the Blackwater River the day after she went missing.

This followed reports that a woman had been seen entering the water.

A red Audi A3, which Mrs Hughes was driving on the day she was last seen, was also discovered close to the river.

Her family has been at the riverside every day since the intensive search began.

Mrs Hughes is from the Grange, a rural area just outside Armagh city, and the community has been rallying round to help.

On Tuesday parishioners packed the Church of St Colmcille, Knockaconey, where a special Mass was said for her.

Local SDLP councillor Eamon McNeill said it has been a very difficult and uncertain time for the family.

"My thoughts are with them and the search and rescue teams and we hope they will have a successful outcome," he said.

The Community Rescue Service said the search had been made more difficult by the recent heavy rain, which resulted in a very strong current most of the week.

It added: "There is also a massive amount of trees and undergrowth which are additional challenges. The consensus of opinion is that the lady may have entered the water which is why we are concentrating on it."

Lough Neagh Rescue Service has also been assisting in the search, with a water rescue technician concentrating on the shallows at the Lough Neagh end ot the river.

Police dogs and those from the Search and Rescue Dogs Association are also being deployed in the hunt, as is underwater sonar equipment.

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