Missing brother - sister's search goes on

Claire Tennyson


Claire Tennyson

THE SISTER of a Ballymena man who went missing almost 33 years ago said "it's her hearts desire" to connect with him again.

Jimmy, whose full name was Robert James Hayes, was born in Ballymena in 1956.

His sister, Sharon, who now lives in Canada, issued a fresh appeal on her brother's whereabouts as it approaches 33 years since she last saw him.

Speaking to the Ballymena Guardian, Sharon said she thinks about her brother every day and would give anything to know where he is.

"My brother left Ballymena in June 1986 when he was 20-years-old.

"He told us he wanted to travel. He didn't tell us when he was leaving so we never had a chance to say goodbye," Sharon explained.

"Shortly after he left he made contact saying he was ok and not to worry about him but we never heard anything else and the years rolled on."

Sharon told the paper that while Jimmy lived in Ballymena he worked for a coal merchant called McMaster and he was also in a band in Rasharkin for a short period.

Sharon continued: "Jimmy and I were separated when I was 10 or 11 as our mum was ill and then had multiple sclerosis.

"Our dad died when I was just seven months old. We have an older brother too called William who is deaf and mute.

Sharon added: "Jimmy was raised by our uncle, my dad's brother.


"He passed away and then Jimmy moved in with me and my grandparents. We lived in William Street, right beside the Corner Bar.

“ It was shortly after my wedding that Jimmy left Ballymena."

Sharon has had some tip offs over the years that Jimmy had gone to live in Scotland, Spain and Sweden.

There was a glimmer of hope two years ago when a man from Sweden got in contact with Sharon informing her that he had been friends with Jimmy but had lost contact.

"The biggest thing that moved me: I asked him to tell me about my brother, he said he was the best friend he ever had and that he was loved by many,"

"It just made me yearn for him even more, and I told him thank you for that, as I was grasping to hold onto hope."

Sharon issued a heartfelt plea to her brother Jimmy asking him to make contact so they could reunite.

"Jimmy if you are reading this you were and always will be very close to my heart.

"You and our brother William is all I have left in our immediate family.

"We have been through a lot of struggles and challenges but that's what makes us stronger, better people.

"My hearts desire is to make up for lost time so please get in contact if you are reading this."

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