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When someone you care about is missing it is often hard to know what you should do. The first step is to file a report with the Gardai if you have concerns for the safety and welfare of your missing family member or friend.


The following pointers should help you when dealing with a missing loved one or friend and in assisting with your search:

Helping with the search

Many families and friends of missing people say they gain a sense of control, direction and purpose by “keeping busy”.


The following suggestions are useful if you wish to be more actively involved in the search process.

It is strongly recommended to check with Gardai  before you undertake any of the suggested activities and inform them of your progress.


Have multiple photos of the person printed for distribution to the media, inclusion on posters and for other publicity purposes Photos should be recent, clear and in colour.



​Have posters made up featuring the missing person. It is strongly advisable to only display Garda or the Helpline contact number, not your own private or mobile phone numbers.

Approach local community groups to help distribute posters. Try to keep a list of where posters are distributed and where they are displayed to avoid duplication.

Consider displaying posters in areas such as shopping centres, bus stops and railway stations, at local sporting and entertainment venues, libraries, local councils, clubs and community centres.

Spread the word

Check with local taxi, train, ferry and bus services. If your missing person suffers a mental illness they may have wandered from home and travelled on public transport.


Keep records


Dealing with Gardai write down the name, rank, station and phone  number of the Garda taking your missing person’s report.

Keep details of all the organisations you contact for help including support services or professional practitioners. Record specific details of any inquiries you conduct and people you speak to .