Gardaí renew probe into 35-year-old disappearance

A fresh investigation into the disappearance 35 years ago of Mary Boyle, Ireland’s longest-missing person, is being conducted by An Garda Síochána.

The report of the renewed inquiry — a re-examination of the file started earlier this year — is expected to be on the desk of Kieran Kenny, Garda Northern Region Assistant Commissioner, within weeks.

It is being conducted by Monaghan-based Detective Superintendent John O’Reilly, following an approach to high-ranking gardaí by a close friend of Mary Boyle’s family.

Mary vanished at the age of six on Mar 18, 1977, in boggy fields at Cashelard, near Ballyshannon.

She had been on a visit to her grandparents house with her family.

At the weekend, Mary’s family, including her widowed mother, Ann and her identical twin, also called Ann, remembered her at a special anniversary mass in St Mary’s Church, Kincasslagh.

The renewed inquiry was described by Inspector Denis Joyce as similar in a number of ways to a cold case review.

Witness statements are being re-examined as well as internal Garda reports. “We are examining every single thing that has come to our attention down the years,” Insp Joyce said.

“It is possible that there is still information out there which has not come to garda attention. If people have information come forward now. It will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.”

Mary disappeared when she followed her uncle Gerry to a neighbour’s house across boggy fields where he was returning a ladder. She is believed to have turned back along the way as her uncle continued towards the neighbours. She was never seen again.

Her mother Ann said: “I just pray to God that he will give me what I want before I die.

“That’s to find out exactly what happened to my Mary.”


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