The brother of a Drogheda man who went missing from his London home 32 years ago has spoken about their last emotional goodbye.

Speaking from his home in High Wycombe, some 30 miles from London, John Kelly said his brother David was a popular young man with a full social life and a wide circle of friends before he suddenly disappeared without trace in 1984.

Kelly, who is from a Yelllowbatter family of 16 siblings, recalled how he and his wife Kim were at home in High Wycombe in August 1984 when they got a call from David to say he was coming up to visit them for the bank holiday weekend.

David had only been in London a short while at that stage but he had already made plenty of friends and had a steady job as a carpenter which he liked.

The two brothers were enjoying a great weekend catching up and everything seemed fine until, on the Sunday as they sat out on the patio at the back of the house, David went inside to make a phone call.

“When he came back out to the garden after that call he told me he was leaving straight away,” Kelly said.

“I said to him to hang on until the next day because it was a bank holiday and there was no work in the morning but he insisted he had to go at once. I walked with him to the station and we chatted as we waited for his train.

“He did ring a couple of days later but I was at work and couldn’t take the call. I asked David to ring me back but he never did.

“I’ve been wondering ever since if that was a call for help. I’ve always regretted that I couldn’t talk to him.”

Less than a week later David was reported missing by the people he shared a house with in Stevenage.

At first they thought he’d returned to Ireland but he’d left home with no money (there was £200 in his bank book) and no passport.

Even then they didn’t panic too much because in those days you didn’t need a passport to travel between Ireland and England.

After a few more days though there was still no word from him so they officially reported him missing.

Hertfordshire Police carried out an exhaustive enquiry but despite their best efforts and a national TV appeal nothing was ever heard or seen of David again. He’d simply disappeared off the face of the earth

“All the family, both in England and back in Drogheda and elsewhere want now is to find out if David is dead or alive” Kelly said.

- Drogheda Life

David Kelly disappeared without a trace in 1984. Now his brother wants to find out if he is dead or alive.iStock