The Doe Network:
Case File 2571DFIRL


Catherine Madigan
Missing since May 14, 1998 from Kilkenny, Ireland
Classification: Endangered Missing

Vital Statistics

Circumstances of Disappearance
Catherine (known as Kate) was reported missing to Kilkenny City Police on 14th May 1998.
Catherine Madigan a primary school teacher and mother of one, has not been seen since she left St. Patrick's psychiatric hospital in Dublin on May 14th, 1998. She was admitted to the hospital on February 5th, for treatment for a severe mental illness which caused her to be a danger to herself.

On May 14th, 1998, at about 14.00, she left the hospital on her own. Staff at the hospital said that she indicated she was going for occupational therapy and was allowed to go on her own. Nobody had noticed she was gone until 17.00. She was seen on closed-circuit television leaving the hospital and was reported missing to the Kilkenny police that same day.

She had suffered from post-natal depression. In 1994-95, she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. In 1986 and 1987 she had attempted to take her life. She was subsequently admitted to different hospitals. She suffered from suicidal thoughts and was on anti-depressants. St. Patrick's hospital was treating her in 1998 when she suffered from depression, a feeling of hopelessness, and had difficulty sleeping. She had threatened to harm herself on a number of occasions and had threatened suicide four days before her disappearance.

While at the hospital her husband visited her every second day. Her husband brought a High Court action for damages against the hospital authorities for allowing Catherine to leave the hospital unhindered and without her formally being discharged. The hospital denied the claims and her husband lost his action for damages against the hospital.

In 1998 a special team of detectives was set up by law enforcement to investigate the disappearance of eight women, including Catherine. Suspicions of links between the cases is fueled by their proximity. Six of the eight women vanished within a 30-mile radius of Newbridge, Kildare. Also, two women disappeared three months before Catherine. The team was set up after two men tried to pull a 24 year old woman into a red car, but she escaped them. Police fear a serial killer is responsible for the women's disappearances.

Catherine is presumed dead, but her body has never been found. Her clothes were found at Bray Head on May 20th, 1998.

If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:

Garda Siochana Kilkenny

Source Information:
Missing Persons Throughout the World
The Independent

Return to the Unexplained Disappearances' Index