Ireland's First Missing Person's Day has been deemed a major success by all involved.
At one event yesterday evening, American actor Anthony LaPaglia made an appearance. He talked about his television role on the series Frasier, playing the part of Daphne's Cockney brother. LaPaglia's character went missing for more than a day in an episode of the show, while he was extremely drunk.
Unfortunately, contractual negotiations prevented Mr. LaPaglia from discussing a more pertinent role he has played on the tv series that rhymes with the phrase "Bithout a Brace".
Another, less formal event was a Missing Persons coffee morning, held by Swords-based housewife Fidelma Turney. She was both delighted and surprised when four of those missing persons publicised by the government for the Missing Persons Day actually turned up for tea and biscuits, alongside a dozen of her neighbourhood friends.
"I was going to charge my neighbours five euros a head," she explained. "But when the missing people showed up, the ladies handed the money straight to them. It was fantastic, because then they only had to pay four euros instead of the five, because they were cutting out the middle man. It was like if Briege showed up with Mr. Tupperware, alongside her Tupperware, on one of her days! You just could've given the money straight to him at cost price, instead of retail."
One of the four, known as Alin Petrescu to his friends, had been missing since 2007. Now 21, the young man was happy to show up at the event. He wanted to prove that many of the international minors who go missing from state custodial care are still alive and living in the state, enjoying life.
"I say my friends and family and Garda men investigators from long ago - I say 'Helloooo!'" he declared, waving and smiling. "I okay now. I taken away by man two-oh-oh-seven in big green van who say I work like St. Patrick - he say me work with sheep. Me work with sheep two years, three years, lots of photos, then me run away when me sick from the sheep! Now me work coffeeshop dishwasher in Ratoath. No sheep for me! Happy days!" he added, with a thumbs up.
Fidelma hadn't realised that the events held around the country for Missing Persons Day are to encourage the missing persons to come forward - she had thought they were simply awareness-raising events. However, at prompting from backbenchers, Enda Kenny addressed the Dail last week, encouraging missing persons to actually come along to the events. The success of the venture means that almost every missing person has turned up at one of the many events around the country.
Fidelma's coffee morning is believed to be the most successful of the Missing Persons privately held events.