Tonight, at 10.15pm, it will be a week since the last confirmed sighting of Elisha Gault.
Despite numerous garda appeals, searches of the river, reported sightings, door-to-door inquiries, and internet campaigns, her
parents and sisters do not know what has happened to the 14-year-old.
Elisha’s disappearance from her home at Carrick-on-Suir has caused widespread shock, sadness, and puzzlement, both among her family and friends and in the wider community.
The search has continued all week, from the first missing person appeal, last Sunday, to today, when more emergency service personnel and voluntary teams will again be out trying to locate Elisha.
The latest Garda appeal has focused on reports of a young girl believed to have been seen in the area of the old mart, on the Faugheen Road, in Carrick, in the early hours of Sunday, just a couple of hours after the last positive sighting of Elisha Gault.
Supt William Leahy, who is leading the investigation from Clonmel Garda Station, on Friday asked for this person, described as being tall with blonde hair, to come forward, so that she can be eliminated from inquiries.
The description issued on Sunday, of Elisha, is that of a 14-year-old girl, between 5ft10in and 6ft in height, with dyed blonde hair and blue eyes.
All week, the gardaí have been following up on various reports of possible sightings of the teenager, with nothing positive to report, as yet.
They have also been calling to houses and businesses in the area to try and find anyone who may have seen Elisha since her last-known sighting, on Dillon Bridge, heading towards Carrickbeg, at 10.15pm on Saturday.
Elisha is a pupil of Comeragh College, in Carrick, and an air of sadness hung over the school yesterday, as students broke up for their Easter holidays.
Elisha’s mother is originally from Belfast and the family lived for some time in Piltown, just over the Tipperary/Kilkenny border from Carrick-on-Suir, before she moved with her mother and sisters to New St, in the town, over a year ago.
Yesterday on Facebook, Grainne Gault said
the family are “broken-hearted”, with still no news of Elisha’s whereabouts.
She appealed to anyone with information, no matter how seemingly trivial that information, to get in touch with the gardaí or with the family.
“If you know of her whereabouts, tell her she isn’t in trouble, she won’t be forced to come home if she doesn’t want to, we just want to know she is safe and well and we can call off all the search efforts and myself, her daddy, and her three sisters love her very much, no matter what.”
Mrs Gault paid tribute to the efforts of all of the state agencies, voluntary groups, and others who have taken part in the search and supported the family since last Sunday.
These include the gardaí, civil defence, fire service, sub-aqua units, Waterford Marine Search and Rescue, Carrick-on-Suir River Rescue, Nenagh Search and Rescue, Mallow Search and Rescue, and others who have been visible along the river Suir all week.
Numbers out searching are expected to increase over the weekend, as volunteers who have been working during the week make themselves available.
Anyone with information should contact the gardaí on 0526177640, or the garda confidential line on 1800666111, or any garda.
“Hug your kids that bit tighter tonight; appreciate what you have got,” is the last line on Grainne Gault’s latest post.
Conor Kane – Irish Examiner