Brother of missing Derry man John Concannon calls for dementia tracker bracelets

Community Rescue Service personnel have been joined by hundreds of volunteers over the past two months in the ongoing search to locate John Concannon.  DER4615MC042
Community Rescue Service personnel have been joined by hundreds of volunteers over the past two months in the ongoing search to locate John Concannon. DER4615MC042

The brother of John Concannon has called on health authorities to look into issuing bracelets with GPS trackers for people with dementia.

Robert Concannon said that they would have located his brother - who has now been missing for over two months- within hours had he been wearing such a device.

John Concannon with his son Edward when he was a baby.

John Concannon with his son Edward when he was a baby.

Speaking after the latest search for dementia sufferer John (71), Mr Concannon said: “They should come up with a GPS tracker in a water proof bracelet that could be put on somebody. If we had had something like this we would have got John right away.

“They could pincode it with a four digit code that only the family have a code for. If something happens then you can find them right away, and if you factor in the costs of searches and helicopters, this would be saving a lot of money. It would pay for itself. “

He added that this would help to keep more people in their homes rather than having to place them in expensive, secure units.

Mr Concannon challenged anyone who might raise concerns over human rights in relation to such bracelets to walk in their shoes and come back to him if their mother, father, sibling or child had been missing for two months.

Anybody with diabetes or a pacemaker has something to identify that. What is the difference? And everybody with a smart phone has a tracker.

Robert Concannon

He added: “Anybody with diabetes or a pacemaker has something to identify that. What is the difference? And everybody with a smart phone has a tracker.”

Mr Concannon said that he knew that his brother was not the first local person with dementia to go missing, having spoken to someone whose grandfather had been missing for two weeks and turned up at a house party in Cork.

“If you can’t cure it, you have to manage it. What is the cheapest option - keep someone in a lock-up home or pay for a one off bracelet with a tracker,” he asked?