Daughter’s agony after dad vanished into thin air following mum’s death 40 years ago

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Carol Morris has struggled with the loss of her mother and father over 40 years ago, but she says that not being able to receive closure for his disappearance has made it difficult to move on

Carol Morris has spoken about the pain of losing her father after he disappeared in 1980 after going to the pub
Carol Morris has spoken about the pain of losing her father after he disappeared in 1980 after going to the pub

A woman whose dad vanished into thin air shortly after her mum’s death over 40 years ago has spoken of her agony.

Carol Morris was just 16 when her father Albert Timmons went out and never came home on December 23, 1980.

He mysteriously disappeared 13 months after her mum tragically passed away from a blood cot at the age of 48.

However, Carol and her siblings – Liam and Trisha – felt that they were never able to have closure in their mum’s case and the mystery around what happened to their dad makes it difficult to move on.

Speaking to the Irish Mirror, Carol said: “The grief for my mam is totally different for the grief for my dad.

“I accepted my mam dying. I can’t accept what happened with my dad.

“Maybe if we knew, if we found his body, we could accept it more.

Carol had been staying at her granny’s the night he disappeared but he never arrived to collect her the next morning
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Image:

Irish Mirror)

“We could go down to the grave, put flowers on it. You can’t do any of that for him.”

Albert, 57, had been to The Viscount pub in north Dublin on the night of his disappearance, but was never heard from again.

Carol and Trisha were staying with their granny that night, expecting him to collect them the next day.

However, he never arrived and after going back home, Carol saw that his bed hadn’t been slept in and the lunch she had made for him was untouched.

After informing her granny, they checked to see if he had arrived to work at the Irish Independent, but his boss said he had never turned up.

On Christmas Eve, they reported him missing to gardai (Irish police), but Carol feels they didn’t take it seriously.

She added: “To go through that at that age, we only lost our mam a year beforehand. A year later, you’ve no parents.

“We don’t know where he is or what happened to him. You just become angry and bitter.

“I thought at one stage, if he came home, I was going to kill him for the hurt. I couldn’t understand why he walked out.”

On St Stephen’s Day and an investigation was launched, but the car that he was driving that night has never been found.

Albert was in a white Wolseley car, with registration number YZU-896, and Carol believes it is “key” in tracing her father’s whereabouts.

She said: “A car can’t just disappear. I just feel someone out there may have seen something one of the days or that day.”

Carol’s grief has been compounded in recent weeks with the sudden loss of her older brother Liam, who was just 24 when their dad vanished.

Carol and her late brother, Liam, had identified a number of bodies in the hopes of finding their father
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Image:

Courts Collins)

For years after Albert disappeared, the pair of them would keep an eye on the news for washed up bodies.

When that happened, on numerous occasions, they would go to the gardai who would bring them to identify the body but they never found their dad.

Carol explained: “Myself and the brother went in a few times and you’re kind of inside hoping against hope that it is him but it’s very hard going in and out doing that as well.

“The brother was eight years older than me and one day we went in and he just goes and said I cant do this.

“It plays havoc with your head and everything.”

Just days before Liam’s death eight weeks ago he and Carol spoke about solving the mystery in their lifetime.

She said: “We were talking two or three days before he died.

“Jasus, he says, wouldn’t it be great to find out what happened to him before anything happens to us, before one of us dies. He didn’t. It’s just clawing away again.”

Carol, like so many others, is looking for answers.

Yesterday, she took part in a ceremony held as part of ninth annual National Missing Persons Day, which was held virtually from Croke Park.

As it stands, there are 876 people missing long term on the island of Ireland with 815 being investigated by the gardai while 61 are being probed by the PSNI.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee and Garda Commissioner Drew Harris were among the speakers at the event, hosted by RTE Prime Time’s Security Correspondent Barry Cummins.

Both Ms McEntee and Mr Harris encouraged close family relatives of missing people who have not yet done so to provide a sample for uploading to the national DNA database.

Ms McEntee said: “New laws which were passed in recent years provided for the establishment of a DNA database system for use by An Garda Siochana and this assists them in identifying missing and unknown persons.

“The collection and subsequent matching of DNA samples from this database represents a key turning point in the identification of human remains in Ireland.

“Already it has provided for much longed closure for an increasing number of families.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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