Partial remains belonging to Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan who was declared missing for the past 18 years will be laid to rest this weekend.
Mr Shanahan was 20-years-old when he was last seen alive, on February 11, 2000, after he exited Coopers Bar, St Joseph Street, Limerick city, and walked onto Old School House Lane.
Partial skeletal remains belonging to Mr Shanahan were discovered in October 2001, however, it was not until last month that these foot bone fragments were confirmed as belonging Gussie.
Gardai said identification of the remains was finally made possible through improved DNA technology.
According to Mr Shanahan’s obituary notice published on rip.ie, his funeral mass will take place at 1pm in Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Ennis Road, Limerick, next Saturday, November 10.
“To mark the Passing of Aengus (Gussie) Shanahan, Ashbrook, Ennis Road, Limerick who has been missing since the February 11, 2000 and after 18 years of searching is finally been laid to rest,” the notice states.
“Beloved son of Bob and the late Nancy (Tuohy) Shanahan, adored brother of Roibeard and sisters Grainne and Reiltin, brothers-in-law Gordon and David, sister-in-law Edwina, nephews Conor, Jack and Dylan and nieces Emily and Annie, extended family and friends.”
“May he finally Rest In Peace.”
“The family will be at the church from 12(pm). Private burial for family & relatives only. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Limerick and Bunratty Search and Rescue.”
The funeral notice has requested “the media to respect the Shanahan’s privacy at this difficult time”.
Members of Bunratty Search and Rescue Service discovered the partial remains at Quay Island, Bunratty, Co Clare, on October 28, 2001.
Over the years, search and rescue crews in the region combed the River Shannon and Shannon Estuary for Mr Shanahan’s body.
Speaking following the DNA breakthrough in the case last month, Bob Shanahan, Gussie’s father, remarked how the “surreal” news had struck his family “like a thunderbolt”.
“I’m struggling through it. It’s a mixture of joy and sadness; Sadness, because it means that (Aengus) is dead; and joy, because we now have some closure,” he said.
“It’s something we have wanted all along.”
Prior to Gussie’s mother’s death in 2016, a heartbroken Nancy Shanahan, appealed for information about the whereabouts of her missing son.
At the time, she added: "I miss him everyday. I'd love to know where he is before I die."
Bob Shanahan said his wife “was always of the view that (Gussie) was dead”.
“She also used to say to me, ‘you’d think our dead (relatives) would tell us somehow where he was’.”
“When she passed away, I said to her, ‘it’s you’re turn now Nancy’, and, she has delivered (Gussie).”
Mr Shanahan said it remains “my belief” Gussie was murdered.
Gardai have begun a complete review of the investigation into Gussie’s disappearance, which they hope to complete before the end of this year.
Despite this review, and until any possible new evidence suggests otherwise, gardai are continuing to keep an open mind as to what happened to Gussie.
Bob Shanahan has made a fresh appeal for information about the circumstances surrounding Gussie’s disappearance.
A definitive conclusion “will give us rest,” he said.
Superintendent Eamon O’Neill, Roxboro Road garda station, said any information passed to gardai would be treated in confidence.
“We continue to appeal for any information in relation to Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan. Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061-214340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station,” Supt O’Neill added.