The European Commission has designated 116 000 as a harmonised hotline number for missing children across the 27 EU countries, which means that it can be called in any member state.
The 116000 number was launched by the European Commission in February 2007. but to date, no funding has been identified in Ireland to run such a service and, from May of next year, every EU state, including Ireland, will have to advertise and promote this number, despite the fact that it is not available here yet.
This will result in the ridiculous situation where we must advertise a non-existant service, thereby offering false hopes to the parents and families of missing children at a time when they are already suffering extreme anxiety.
To highlight this unacceptable situation a 24-hour candlelight vigil will be held outside Dáil Éireann by Tom Brown from 12noon on Wednesday next (3rd November) until 12 noon on Thursday.
I am going to attend part of Tom’s vigil and would encourage anyone who can to do so also. Please feel free to contact me if you require any further information.