Northern Ireland

Search continues for four missing children

Steven Appleton
Image caption Police want to talk to 30 year old Steven Appleton

An international police operation is underway to find four children who have been missing from their home.

Chloe Eaton, 12, Jessica Eaton, 10, Jon Eaton, 5, and Megan Eaton, 1, were last seen at their home at Tullykeel, in Ardee, County Louth, on Thursday.

Police believe they are in the company of Steven Appleton, 30, who is a family friend. It is also possible they are also with a woman and her two children.

Irish police said they may now be in Northern Ireland or England.

The two other young children believed to be in their company are not the subject of a missing persons appeal.

Mr Appleton is a friend of the Eaton family, who are also from the UK, and had been asked by their mother to look after her four children while she was in hospital, including moving them if social workers called.

Image caption The children were last seen at their home in Ardee on Thursday

The 30-year-old man, from Sussex, has the use of an English registered silver coloured Vauxhall Zafira registration number DY08 JYF.

It is understood the four children and their mother moved from West Sussex to the Ardee area in December 2010.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Irish police at Ardee directly on 00353 41 6871130.