Bláthnaid Timothy: last seen in Howth on 14 December

THE taxi driver sought in connection with the investigation into missing woman Bláthnaid Timothy has been traced, gardaí said yesterday.

It has now emerged that the 33-year-old, who vanished just over two weeks ago, was dropped off at Harbour Road in Howth at about 8.30pm on 14 December.

CCTV footage had captured her getting into a taxi but her eventual destination had remained a mystery.

Fresh appeals have now been made for any members of the public who may have seen Timothy in the Howth area on that night to come forward.

Gardaí had previously stressed that finding the driver of the black Mercedes cab was vital to their investigation as her destination was crucial to examining CCTV footage.

While it is a major breakthrough in the case, it is still unclear what happened to the missing woman and further information is urgently sought.

The Timothy family said that the longer they waited without answers, the more their fears grow.

Speaking to the Sunday Tribune, Bláthnaid's brother Ronan said: "All I can say is that as time passes on you become more fearful, but at the same time you have to have some hope.

"It becomes more concerning and fears do rise as time goes on."

"It's very hard [on the family]. I have three children so I have to keep some element of normality for them but you are just going through the motions.

"We have to try and protect them. My oldest daughter is nine; they know, but they don't really understand."

Timothy's disappearance, which her family insists is out of character, comes just four years after the death of her father.

To date, some 16,000 leaflets have been circulated and last week a number of taxi drivers came forward to rule themselves out.