30/04/2019 - 01:33
By Joyce Fegan
A TV documentary about one of Ireland's missing women, Fiona Sinnott, indicates for the first time that she was the victim of abuse, up to six months into her pregnancy.
In Missing: Fiona Sinnott, her family members are seen going through her medical records, which detail physical abuse such as kicks to the head and bite marks to her body.
Fiona, 19, was a mother to an 11-month-old daughter when she went missing near her home in Wexford, in February 1998.
Her case was upgraded to a murder investigation in 2005, but no one has ever been charged in relation to the crime.
The director of the new documentary, Emmy-nominated Shauna Keogh, spent the last 18 months working with Fiona's family and the local community in Wexford.
Fiona's medical records as shown in the documentary, which airs on Virgin Media One tonight, were seen by her family for the first time last year.
One medical document shows: "6 months pregnant" and "bitten by own (redacted word)". The same document states that she was "referred to a social worker prior to discharge".
Instances of physical abuse, as recorded in the medical files, go back as far as 1994, to when Fiona was just 15 years old.
Late in 1995, just after she had turned 17, there is another medical record indicating that she was "kicked and punched in her head".
It is shown that she was brought into hospital by gardaí at 4.40am, but was "not prepared to make a statement" to the authorities. She said she would inform her family, but never did.
On Sunday, February 8, 1998, Fiona left her local pub in Ballyhitt, just after closing time, intending to walk back to her rented accommodation. This was the last time she was seen alive in public. No trace or sighting of her has ever been reported since.
She had been planning her daughter's first birthday with great excitement, as well as looking forward to her sister Diane's 21st birthday.
Fiona also made a call to her family home from the pub on the night of her disappearance asking that one of her siblings come and join her.
The director of the documentary hopes that it will provide some closure for her family after more than 20 years of unanswered questions.
"There are people that know something that are staying quiet, but now coming off the back of the #MeToo movement people know what's right and wrong and when to talk," she said.
Missing: Fiona Sinnott airs at 9pm on Wednesday night on Virgin Media One.
Women's Aid: Call their 24hr National Freephone Helpline 1800 341 900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for basic information.
The Garda Confidential Line Telephone: 1800 666 111