Another Christmas not knowing what happened to his beloved son Trevor
My day depends on what I'm doing. First of all, I should explain that I was born on a farm in Loughrea, Co Galway. There were two sons in the family — my brother Ralph and myself. Ralph died suddenly in 2003, three years after Trevor went missing.
His family didn't want to sell the farm, so since then I've been helping them out a couple of times a week, keeping the thing going. I work on the farm two or three days a week. I grew up on this farm. It's a saviour for me in the sense that you're in a different area altogether, looking at cattle thriving in the fields. The physical work is a great let out. Early on, we were told by counsellors that the more physical work you can do the better, so hopefully you can get some sleep at night. The fresh air is brilliant for that. It's not so much blocking out thoughts, but if you're engaged in other things it's good for you. You're looking at calves being born and you're rearing them. You need to fill your mind with something else. But I don't ever forget Trevor.
If I'm at home in Naas, it's just myself and my wife Ann in the house now. We have four children but even before Trevor went missing, they all lived away from home. Ann is very involved in tennis and she plays it a couple of times a week. I usually have a light breakfast — porridge, a slice of toast and a cup of tea — and then I go down town to read the paper. I certainly read about missing persons and I hear about them on the television and the radio. My immediate reaction would be concern for them. I always hope that they get an answer soon, that they're not going to be left like us. We haven't got one shred of information that would lead us past 4.10am on December 8, 2000. There are quite a number of long-term missing persons and over the years I've met their families. What can you say? Only keep up the work, keep up the information and keep up the awareness. I worked with Bord Bia for many years and, because of that, I had a lot of dealings with the press in terms of stories. I was always very conscious about the need to keep information out there and to highlight Trevor's case in the press.
On Thursday, December 7, 2000, Trevor was going to his Christmas party. That evening, he phoned from his apartment in Ballsbridge. There was something wrong with the electricity and he was asking me what he should do. I told him to ring the ESB and he phoned back later on to say that he had got it fixed. We were very close and there was always plenty of contact. Trevor used to come home every second weekend. My memory of him is him sitting on the couch, lost in the Formula 1 racing. He loved it. He'd see his school friends when he was in Naas, but this particular weekend he didn't intend to come home.
I remember driving home from work. It was a most horrific night — windy and teeming rain. I hate this time of the year, particularly when the weather is like that night. Just before I got to the Naas Road, I rang Trevor. He was in Copper Face Jack's at some drinks reception for the IT companies — he worked in the IT section of the bank. I distinctly remember signing off saying, ‘Mind yourself,' and then I drove home.
After he'd been out for a night, I wouldn't be ringing to find out how he was because he should have been working on the Friday. People at work didn't get concerned when he didn't turn up at the office on Friday. His sister, Pamela, had her office party on the same night in London and she and Trevor had been texting each other all night. Then, on Monday afternoon, the bank rang my wife Ann to see if Trevor was there. He still hadn't turned up for work and they were concerned. Trevor loved his job and was very conscientious.
I was ringing his mobile constantly and I went to his apartment twice but there was no sign of anything there.
We went up to the local garda station in Naas and they got all his details: his hair colour — sandy, straw-coloured; his eyes — green; and his height — 6ft 1in. He was a slim build and a fine specimen of a man. Giving those details to the gardai was a moment of truth in terms of how serious it was.
I had a thing about missing persons — when I'd hear about somebody missing, the thought of it going on for years used to haunt me. I remember that going through my head then. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be reporting my youngest son missing.
After the pre-party reception was over, Trevor and his colleagues all assembled at the Hilton Hotel beside the canal, and stayed there for the night. When that was over, a group of them went off to Buck Whaley's on Leeson Street. After that, two or three of them, including Trevor, went into the office on the way home. It wasn't unusual for them to do