One year on: ‘nightmare’ for family of missing John Concannon

John Concannon.
John Concannon.

The brother of missing Derry man John Concannon has spoken of his family’s “nightmare” a year on from his disappearance.

Mr Concannon vanished a year ago this Thursday, and despite a massive search operation involving thousands of people from across Derry, Inishowen and beyond, no trace of him has ever been found.

Michael Concannon, brother of John Concannon.

Michael Concannon, brother of John Concannon.

His brother Michael said that occasional searches were still taking place to try and find some clue about what happened to John.

“There’s been no change at all,” Mr Concannon said. “It’s been a bit of a nightmare. It’s just something we have to deal with. It’s not nice.

“It’s one of those horrible situations and you are in it; you feel powerless to do anything in a sense.”

Mr Concannon (71), who suffers from dementia, was last seen getting off the Fernabbey bus at Lenamore Road in Derry, close to the border.

John Concannon captured on CCTV on the bus on the day he disappeared.

John Concannon captured on CCTV on the bus on the day he disappeared.

It has been suggested he may have taken the wrong bus on his daily journey home from the city centre to Galliagh and become confused.

Michael said that his heart goes out when he hears of other people going missing.

“This last while back there have been quite a few people who have gone missing.

“You just hope they find the person they’re looking for quick because you don’t want it to be dragging on and for anyone to be in our situation.”

Streams being searched in the Lenamore Road area during one of the searches for missing Derry man John Concannon.

Streams being searched in the Lenamore Road area during one of the searches for missing Derry man John Concannon.

Numerous searches by land and air have been conducted across Derry and Donegal in the months since John Concannon disappeared.

Much of the searches have been concentrated along the woodlands, fields, streams and back roads of the area between Muff and Burnfoot, with the PSNI, An Garda Siochana, expert search and rescue teams and Mr Concannon’s family joined by a legion of volunteers.

Michael Concannon said people still regularly ask about the search for John.

“I would constantly be speaking to people who would say they would ‘I go on walks out that road and I always look about when I’m out in case I would spot something’.

Community Rescue Service personnel conducting a previous search for missing Derry man John Concannon between Muff and Bridgend.  DER4615MC042

Community Rescue Service personnel conducting a previous search for missing Derry man John Concannon between Muff and Bridgend. DER4615MC042

“There are still people thinking about it.

“To a lot of people it’s still at the forefront of their minds and that gives you an idea what it’s like for the family.”

He said the support the family have received has been unbelievable.

“Even today you go into the shop and people are always coming over to you and asking if there has been any change, and people saying ‘I would be praying away for him’.”

Mr Concannon is about 5’6” tall, of medium build and with grey hair. He was wearing a black and grey beanie hat, a black coat, checked shirt and navy trousers on the day he disappeared.

John Concannon.

John Concannon.