SDLP Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly has backed calls for a missing persons day to be established in the North.
Mrs Kelly was speaking after the family of missing Co Down woman Lisa Dorrian spoke about the importance of missing persons day in the South and called for a similar occasion in the North.
Upper Bann MLA Mrs Kelly:
“It’s hard to see how anyone could fail to support a missing persons day being established in the North after listening to the moving testimony of Lisa Dorrian’s family. The feeling of recognition and solidarity brought to them by taking part in the day in the South has clearly helped them deal with their continuing grief and anything that helps people caught in such tragic circumstances deserves our wholehearted support.
“This event has the potential to bring comfort to a host of families across the North. We recently heard from the family of Charlotte Murray through their brave campaign for Charlotte’s law and last month we met with the families of the disappeared at Stormont. They have campaigned for decades to locate their loved ones who were so cruelly stolen from them and I feel this day would also provide us with the opportunity to recognise their loss and provide an opportunity for them to be remembered. It could also provide an opportunity to renewed appeals for information about those missing.
“Throughout my political career I have met with victims and people who have lost loved ones in a variety of painful and challenging circumstances. Too often these people are left feeling abandoned or uncared about, or feel that their relative has just become a statistic. I think a missing persons day for the North would provide a fitting moment to allow the families affected to come together and offer support to each other in the hope of finding their loved ones.”