MISSING SINCE 2001
M, #41999, b. 1974
|Birth||Richard Doolan was born in 1974.|
Events - Chronological (including alternatives)
Event or Activity
24 October 2001 | Croy, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Richard Doolan was in Croy, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, on 24 October 2001. Note: MISSING PERSON; from near Glasgow.
Before 24 October 2021 | Croy, North Lanarkshire, Scotland
Facts - Non-Chronological
DNA; Police Test.
In the Dowling One-Name Study Richard Doolan has the reference number 41999.
“ Richard we are here for you whenever you are ready; we can listen, talk you through what help you need, pass a message for you and help you to be safe. Call. Text. Free. Confidential. 116000 ” - https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/help-us-find/richard-doolan-01-000443
Newspaper: The Herald 23 December 2013 - 'I'd like people to remember my son could still be out there' By Rebecca McQuillan.
Jean Doolan misses her son Richard every day, but at Christmas she feels his absence particularly acutely.
Richard went missing aged 27 in 2001 and has not been seen since.
The Doolan family, from Croy in North Lanarkshire, have never lost hope that he might return to them and always make a point of including him in their Christmas celebrations.
"We send him cards," says Mrs Doolan. "His first Christmas card this year has already come in from his sister.
"It was his 40th birthday in June this year and we had a wee cake for Richard here, with a picture of him when he was a wee laddie.
"I miss him terribly. Every day I think about it, every minute. You just wonder and wonder and wonder all the time what's happened to him. I wonder what he would look like now.
"I feel as the years go by there's less likelihood of Richard coming home, but I would like him to."
Richard is one of about 250,000 people who go missing in the UK each year. Slightly more people go missing in Scotland relative to the population than in England and Wales. While nine out of 10 missing person incidents are closed within 48 hours and 99% within a year, some people are not seen again for years or never heard from again.
The charity Missing People, which supports those who are left behind when someone goes missing, is running a campaign, Home for Christmas, to highlight the experiences of families like the Doolans. The charity is supported by the People's Postcode Lottery but also relies on donations to carry out its work, which includes running a 24-hour free, confidential support line.
Chief executive Jo Youle said Christmas often served as a reminder of a family's loss: "One woman told me she looks all around her and it seems like everyone is together with their families. That emphasises the fact her loved one is missing.
"We are a 24/7 organisation. We are here over the whole of Christmas, to be there for families."
When Richard Doolan went missing, there were no clues as to where he might have gone. His wallet and other key documents were still at his flat near the family home, though his mobile phone was gone. He lived by himself, but had spent that day largely with his mother. "When he left here that Saturday, I knew there was something wrong," says Mrs Doolan. "There was an anxiousness about him. He kept coming back up to the house. He came in quite early, around 10am. He was going away home and then came back again.
"Then that night he was going down to an AA meeting and that's the last I saw of him."
Richard, who was not working at the time due to a hand injury, attended the AA meeting. Several people reported seeing him in the next 48 hours and the family went out looking for him, but the trail went cold. "After Tuesday, when there was nothing more, I just felt Richard was gone," says Mrs Doolan. "It felt ominous."
She believes her son may have been depressed and is concerned he had suffered two knocks to the head that had not been seen by doctors. First he banged his head when he fell off his bike, then a few weeks later he and a friend were driving when the car came off the road and went down a ravine. Again he hit his head, but as on the previous occasion declined to go to hospital.
Richard was the fifth of six children born to Jean and Richard Snr, and the only boy. "He was a lovely lad," says his mother. "He was quiet, he played the guitar and was a good singer. He was fine in amongst family but quieter outwith all that."
Richard's sisters stay in touch with police and make a point of contacting them if they hear a body has been found, but have not given up hope that he could return. Mrs Doolan's husband does not discuss his son's disappearance as much as his wife, but the couple do talk about him most days.
Mrs Doolan also prays for him every day. "I've dealt with it by handing him over to God," she says. "People still ask me about him and that's good for me. I know someone who will always give me a tap on the shoulder and say 'No word on Richard yet? Just keep the prayers coming'. I just want people to remember Richard and to pray for him, to pray he's on his way home. I'd like people to remember that Richard could still be out there.
"I used to think he was away and he wouldn't be coming back, but there's always hope."
The Glasgow Times 25 March 2021 Exclusive by Maxine McArthur Senior Reporter
Richard Doolan: Croy mum tells of agony at son's 20 year disappearance
WHEN Jean Doolan watched her son leave her home on a typical Saturday afternoon 20 years ago, she knew she would never see him again.
She couldn’t explain why she had that feeling, but the now 73-year-old knew something was different about her only son, Richard Doolan, that day.
Richard, known as Ricky to pals, was spotted out later that night on March 24, 2001, before vanishing.
Despite, potential sightings of the 27-year-old - which Jean believes to have been false - he was never seen again.
Now, two decades on, Jean can still picture him walking away for the last time.
“That day was completely different,” she said, “he went out at night time, he was going somewhere, and I watched him walk to the bottom of the road.
“I thought he would turn around but he never did.
“I never saw him again. I knew, I just knew, I would never see him again.”
Richard was the only boy born to parents Jean and Richard Snr.
He grew up alongside sisters Julie, Anne, Josie, Bernie and Jean in Croy, North Lanarkshire.
At the time of his disappearance, he had a handful of nieces and nephews - two of which were just six-weeks-old when their uncle vanished.
As time has gone on, the family has grown with the sisters going on to have more children and, now, grandchildren.
A “whole lifetime” has passed since Richard was last seen, his mum said.
It’s a situation they never thought they’d be in, but they’re holding on to hope closure can be found one day.
Julie, Richard’s eldest sister, said: “I feel so sorry for my mum and dad.
“After 20 years, you feel maybe they could get a bit of closure.
“I last saw him the day before he went missing and I can still picture him walking away now. I’ve always got that memory.
“My youngest son, Mark, was only six weeks old and I would be up at night with him and just cry.”
She added: “I thought all my tears had gone, but I cried yesterday. “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years, such a long time.”
Richard had some mental health difficulties prior to his disappearance and, while the family believe it is likely he has passed away, they always hold out hope he may return home.
Many of his sisters have now moved away from the area, some staying close by in the likes of Cumbernauld and others going as far as Dublin.
However, Julie says, her parents will never leave their three-bed “just in case” Richard returns.
Jean said: “There was no help then. God help anybody now that needs help with mental health.
“We hope that he got away and is living somewhere else.
“Twenty years is a long time, but I just hope he’s alright and enjoying life.”
She added: “I would have hoped I would have heard by now, but some people just never get found.
“It was a terrible time for young men.”
The police continue to check-in with the family every so often and collected DNA during their last visit.
However, there hasn’t been much progress in the search for Richard since he was last spotted.
There were a handful of sightings in the days following his disappearance, but they’ve never been confirmed.
This time of year is especially difficult for the close-knit family, with Jean admitting she and her husband struggle to sleep.
However, they hope by sharing Richard’s story it will encourage anyone with information to come forward.
Sadly, the coronavirus restrictions have forced the family to pause plans for a memorial bench in Croy dedicated to their much-loved brother and son.
As restrictions ease, they hope they will be able to reunite to celebrate what should be his 48th birthday on June 9.
As ever, the family are hopeful this year will be the one that brings answers as to what happened to Richard following the last sighting on March 24, 2001.
“I see him with wings now,” Jean said, “but we’ll always hope that he just got away and is enjoying himself somewhere.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101.
- [S2704] SOURCE: (Full): Various,
Source Combined Fields: https://www.missingpeople.org.uk/help-us-find/richard-doolan-01-000443,
Citation Detail: Missing Person DOOLAN, RICHARD ; Disappeared 24 March 2001 aged 27 from Croy, Glasgow, Scotland; Reference Number: 01-000443,
Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) originally in 2002 and checked as still current 12 December 2021:-
- [S3999] SOURCE: (Full),
Source Combined Fields: https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/19185324.richard-doolan-croy-mum-tells-agony-sons-20-year-disappearance/,
Citation Detail: Article on DOOLAN, RICHARD 25 March 2021 by Maxine McArthur,
Citation Text: Collated by Brian Thomas Dowling (1955-) 12 December 2021:-