17 people still missing since last year, as Ireland marks Missing Persons Day

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald hosted a ceremony in Dublin earlier

Missing Persons Day, ceremony, Ireland, missing, gardai, dogs, civil defence

A composite image of some of Ireland's missing persons | Image: An Garda Síocahana/Jack Quann

Today marks Missing Persons Day - to commemorate those who have gone missing, and recognise the lasting trauma for their families and friends.

Last year, 9,179 people were reported missing here - 17 of these have not yet been found.

A ceremony took place at Farmleigh House in Dublin this morning, hosted by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald.

She was joined at the event by the Garda Commissioner, Nóirín O'Sullivan.

It is hoped the day will draw attention to open or unsolved missing persons cases - and create an opportunity to provide information on the support services which are available.

On December 4th 2013, Ireland held its inaugural national Missing Persons Day.

Source: An Garda Síochana

The inaugural ceremony was attended by the families and friends of missing persons, as well as many of the organisations working in the community on their behalf.

Speakers at this year's ceremony included family members of missing persons.

Missing Persons Day complements the existing International Missing Children's Day.

More than 6,000 people are reported missing in Ireland each year, but the vast majority of these are soon found.

In some cases the search proves more difficult and gardaí call in other agencies to mount a coordinated search, which includes the use of dogs.

Mick O'Sullivan is a dog handler with the Civil Defence. He told Newstalk Breakfast his dog is a new venture.

View information on current missing persons here