A Celbridge teenager who was missing from his family home for almost a week was found in Dublin city by a woman on a protest march to Dail Eireann on Tuesday, 24 April.
Fifteen year old Luke Rossiter was homeless and living in Dublin city after being last seen at his home on 17 April.
His worried mother, Sheila Reidy, and family members, from Ballymakealy Grove, put out an appeal via the Gardai and Trace Ireland.It included the description of the clothes he was wearing.
Last Monday he was spotted by Suzanne Cunningham, a near neighbour of Sheila’s from Ballymakealy Grove, Celbridge.
Ironically, Suzanne, who has a child with special needs, was on a march along with hundreds of other parents from Kildare, protesting over cuts to care allowances. The march was going from Minsiter Joan Burton’s office on St. Stephen’s Green to the Dail.
She spotted Luke, approached him and asked him to talk to his mother via her mobile phone, which he did.
Unknown to Luke, Sheila and other family members took the bus into the city where they met up with Luke. “He was scared,” Sheila told the Leader.
It turned out that a Luke, a pupil of Colaiste Chiarain in Leixlip, had been minded by a drug addict during his week on the street.
Luke’s companion had directed him to a location for free meals, but he was hungry when found.
It appears the youth wanted to come home, apparently having sold his mobile phone and runners.
When Sheila asked why he had not come home, he responded: “The longer it got the harder it was,” Luke, who was frightened by the experience, told her.
Despite the aid he received on the street, Luke, who Shelia believes was upset at the suicide of two young people he knew, was delighted.
“Oh my God, the relief,” was her response.
Sheila had spent time searching the city last Saturday and Sunday. “I would hate for any parent to go through this. It was a nightmare,” she said.
- Henry Bauress