Michael Deely

An­other Christ­mas not know­ing what hap­pened to his beloved son Trevor

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Life -

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

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