Grandmother's plea: Help us find my missing Saoirse
The grandmother of missing Belfast woman Saoirse Smyth has issued a plea to anyone who can help them to find her and give her a Christian burial.
Ms Smyth, 28, from west Belfast, has been missing for more than a year.
She was last seen in Omeath, Co Louth in April 2017 where she had been living.
In December, the PSNI issued an appeal for information about Saoirse’s whereabouts.
Detectives have launched a murder investigation into her disappearance. Her body has not been found.
Two people, a 40-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, have been questioned by detectives and released on bail.
Vera Smyth, 72, described the last 16 months as having been very hard for the family.
“No-one deserves this, we just want to get closure on it,” she said.
“We have heard she is dead and we want to find out where her body is so we can give her a Christian burial, and get closure for myself and the rest of her family.
“It is heartbreaking, someone out there knows something.
“If you know anything, come forward to give us peace of mind because she doesn’t deserve the death she has.”
Mrs Smyth said she had not seen Saoirse for a year-and-a-half, but when police said they believe she was murdered, she felt like a “ton of bricks” dropped from her heart to her feet.
“I couldn’t take it in, I still can’t accept it, it’s hard to take in,” she said.
“I pray to God she didn’t suffer, that it was an easy death, not that death is easy, but I hope she didn’t suffer.
“We knew there was something going on but we couldn’t put a finger on what was going on until the police told us she had been murdered, then it started to sink in, what had happened, where it had happened.
“The last 16 months have been very hard, I put up a front like nothing is going on, but I feel it inside.
“As a family we are always talking about her, sometimes I think she is going to walk through the door but she hasn’t.”
Mrs Smyth looked after Saoirse from the age of four after her mother died.
“When she was young, she was a good child, but when she got up a bit, into secondary school, she became a bit out of control,” she said.
“She lived in a hostel when she turned 16, she wasn’t doing too bad, but I lost contact with her more often than I saw her.”
Saoirse had battled drug addiction during her later years.
Her grandmother also issued an appeal to young people to stay away from drugs.
“You young people out there shouldn’t take drugs, they kill you,” she said.
“Drugs are a curse. Saoirse took drugs, it changed her life.”
PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Geoff Boyce said there is a large team of detectives investigating Saoirse’s disappearance.
“Earlier this month there were a number of individuals arrested and a house searched with the assistance of An Garda Siochana in the Omeath area,” he said.
“The information is gathered at a pace, there are individuals who have been released on bail but they are to come back next month for further interview.
“The family are obviously devastated by the loss of Saoirse so my appeal is around Saoirse’s movements in April 2017, any snippets of information around whose company she was in around that time or where she is now would give the family some closure.”