FDC Charity Fund: Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery - FDC Group
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FDC Charity Fund: Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery


9,000. The number of people who go missing in Ireland every year. Tens of thousands of friends and family members without answers. One in every four Irish people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lifetime. One in every ten will experience depression.

“When the system fails, we’re the last port of call,” says Christy O’Donovan, of Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery. “What we’re seeing goes beyond profession or background. It can be anyone.”

Cork City Missing Persons is a charity funded entirely by donations and run by volunteers. “Currently, we have 18 volunteers,” reported Dave Varion. Many of these volunteers work full-time jobs. “I’ll leave my 12-hour shift and head straight out,” said Calvin Welch, one of the younger volunteers currently in training to be a Guard. The volunteers come from all professions ranging from the Navy and Army to the pharmaceutical industry.

Many of the volunteers with Cork City Missing Persons have a deep personal stake in what they do, having lost family members or friends to suicide or accidents in the past. “It’s not for everyone, the stuff we see, but the relief of the families makes it worth it,” said Calvin. Some of the volunteers have worked for the charity since its inception 23 years ago.

Once the charity has learned of a missing person, they initiate an intensive search for 30 days, reevaluating the situation once that time frame has passed. No case gets forgotten. The unit still conducts searches for cases dating back over 35 years.

Pictured from left to right: Leona McGrath (FDC Group), Calvin Welch, Dave Varion, Christy O’Donovan and Margaret Kehoe (FDC Group)

The unit acts as a strong support system, not only for each other, but for the families of the missing persons. The charity engages with the National Missing Persons Day in Dublin annually. The unit hiked Carrauntoohil with the families in remembrance of those lost and recovered, as well as those still missing.

In addition to their missing persons work, the unit provides water safety to events around Cork, including the Lee Swim. The charity’s dedication to humanitarian aid extends beyond Ireland with the unit driving supplies vans to Ukraine on more than one occasion.

“It’s getting harder and harder to find volunteers. Since COVID, there’s been a major increase in the missing persons,” said Christy. The charity is always looking for volunteers. “It isn’t for everyone. It’s not something everyone can handle,” said Christy. “Our firsthand experience is what drives us on.”

For every tragic recovery, the unit upholds all rescues as celebrations and a direct testament to their dedication. “You go where you’re called,” said Dave.

FDC Group is proud to offer its support to such a deserving cause. All employees of FDC Group have the opportunity to donate a portion of their weekly wages to charity. These donations go into the FDC Charity Fund, and each company within the group chooses a charity to receive a donation annually. This year, FDC and Associates were proud to put forward Cork Missing Persons and present the cheque on the 15th of January to representatives from the charity.

“Giving back to organisations like this where people are going above and beyond every day to help others is exceptionally important to us here at FDC,” says Pauline O’Keeffe.

“When the system fails, we’re the last port of call.”



For regular updates about missing persons, follow the Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery’s Facebook Page.

If you’re interested in volunteering for the organisation, you can reach out to info@missing.ie or ring 0879609885. On-the-job training is essential to the role, as well as some certifications like Manual Handling.

To donate to Cork City Missing Persons:

Donations to the Lough Credit Union, acc num ‘80073951’ sort code 991061.

Electronic transfers,  IBAN num ‘IE88LOCI99106180073951’ BIC num ‘LOCIIE21XXX’ swift code BNPAIE21.

More information about the organisation:

Cork City Missing Persons Search & Recovery is a voluntary organisation based in Cork City. We conduct land and water based missing persons searches. Our Services are free of charge, and we will respond to call outs from Gardaí, family members of missing persons, web master of www.missing.ie and the National Missing Persons helpline Ireland 1890-442552.

Our group consists of members who are trained in search & recovery, and we have been assisting Gardaí and families of missing persons for the past 20 years. We are also aligned to the National Missing Persons Helpline Ireland.

To request our services to search for any missing person, the missing person must first be reported missing to the Gardaí before we can conduct any search. There are no paid members in our group, and we are not government funded, we rely on donations from the public through fund-raising events that the public and ourselves organise.