Arlene Arkinson: ‘Disappearance affected the whole family’ says brother

Arlene Arkinson has never been found after she disappeared in 1994.
Arlene Arkinson has never been found after she disappeared in 1994.
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Martin Arkinson, eldest brother of Arlene Arkinson, has told an inquest into her disappearance that the event affected every member of his family.

The 15-year-old Castlederg schoolgirl went missing after attending a disco in Bundoran, Co Donegal over twenty years ago. Her remains have never been found but she was last seen in the company of convicted child killer and rapist Robert Howard who died in prison in October last year.

At the time, Arlene Arkinson had been living with her brother, his wife and family in the Co Tyrone town. Martin Arkinson told the court he had become his sisters legal guardian as he did not want to see her taken into care.

At the inquest, a sometimes visibly emotional Mr Arkinson said his sisters death had affected every member of his family. He revealed he had sometimes asked his sister to stop coming home late from nights out and threatened to have her taken into care but added he would have never actually done so.

The court heard that Martin Arkinson considered these rows to be minor and of little consequence. He also said he did not believe that Arlene had been pregnant at the time of her disappearance and that because they were living in the same house he was sure of this.

He said: “Absolutely not. That is what has dogged me, what the hell are they talking about?”

Arlene Arkinson’s brother also said that he noticed the morning after she went to the disco in Bundoran that she was missing. He said he checked with another sister, Kathleen, who lived yards away, to see if Arlene was in her house.

He then spoke to social workers a day or two later and explained that the teenager was missing.

This concluded Martin Arkinson’s evidence to the inquest.