An American mother has issued a heartfelt plea for information on her missing son – reportedly spotted in Ireland on several occasions since his disappearance nine years ago.
Matt Mullaney, from Scituate in Massachusetts, went missing in Florence nine years ago after moving to Italy to study art.
Mum Terri last saw her 23-year-old son just before his departure for Europe and is appealing to anyone with information to contact her.
As the ninth anniversary of his disappearance approaches, Terri believes someone in Ireland may know something that can ease her family’s suffering.
Just weeks after arriving in Italy, Matt left a bar in Florence on February 1st, 2003 after a night out with friends and hasn’t been heard from since.
There have been various alleged sightings of the missing man in Ireland. In July of 2003, mum Terri was contacted by a woman from Donegal who claimed that she had sat beside her son on a ferry from Holyhead in Wales to Dublin.
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An Irish couple also contacted police in late 2006 claiming they had spent an afternoon with Mark in Kinsale, County Cork in July 2005. They later spotted a photograph of Mullaney in a newspaper appealling for information and were convinced that he was the same person they spoke to in Oscar Madison’s pub in Kinsale that summer.
They told police that the man introduced himself as Matt from Massachusetts and said he was keeping a journal of his travels in order to write a book.
Reports say there was also an unconfirmed sighting of him in a Galway pub in January 2004.
Terri and her husband, Michael, have visited Ireland several times in their search for their son and their daughter Meg is a full-time student in Dublin.
Mum Terri told the Irish Times that Mark is on the FBI missing persons page but they have not heard of any new developments for quite some time.
“We’ve been in close contact with the FBI over the last few years trying to get samples of our DNA distributed to as many west European countries that have databases as possible. It has been another long process,” she said.
“The samples have finally arrived at The Hague and we are hearing they are, finally, being shared for comparison.”