Republic of Ireland news

Search for missing women begins in Co Kildare

Deirdre Jacob, left, went missing in 1998 while Jo Jo Dullard disappeared in 1995. Picture from RTÉ

GARDAÍ investigating the disappearance of two women in Leinster more than 20 years ago began a search of a site in Co Kildare.

Officers started to comb dense woodland near the area of Usk Little, close to the Wicklow county boundary, as part of investigations into the murders of two missing women, Deirdre Jacob and JoJo Dullard.

Gardaí do not believe the two murders are linked, but are carrying out the searches as part of both inquiries.

The operation is being undertaken following "credible information", which emerged during the ongoing murder investigation and a review of previous interviews and evidence.

The search will cover an area of around four acres and is expected to last up to three weeks.

Ms Jacob (18) went missing near her home in Newbridge, Co Kildare in July 1998 - one of at least six women who disappeared without trace in the east of the Republic in the 1990s.

Gardaí upgraded the missing person’s case to a murder investigation three years ago and a file on the case is currently with the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Jo Jo Dullard's case was also upgraded to murder earlier this year. The 21-year-old went missing from Moone in Co Kildare in 1995.

Inspector John Fitzgerald told reporters that there was unusual activity noticed in the wood, a short distance from Usk Little on the evening Ms Jacob was last seen.

He said that, while the search was related to Ms Jacob's disappearance, they would "bear in mind" that Ms Dullard was last seen a short distance away in the town of Moone.

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