Missing girl’s sister to take legal action against gardaí

The twin sister of Ireland’s longest-missing person is to take legal action against the gardaí, the Donegal coroner and the Government over what she alleges is Ireland’s failure to uphold the right to an effective investigation into her disappearance.

Six-year-old Mary Boyle went missing from her grandparents’ rural Co Donegal home on St Patrick’s Day in 1977.

Ann Doherty confirmed her intention to take legal action in a documentary, Mary Boyle — The Untold Story, which was released online this week.

Ms Doherty is to bring the case to the European Court of Human Rights on the grounds that a failure to hold an inquest into her sister’s disappearance is in breach of Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which states that a person’s right to life is protected by law.

The documentary, written and directed by journalist Gemma O’Doherty, features allegations that a politician interfered with the investigation into Mary Boyle’s disappearance by instructing gardaí not to interview a man identified as a suspect in the case. Retired sergeant Martin Collins and retired detective inspector Aidan Murray, who were both working on the case at the time, recall their accounts of what happened during the investigation.

“A phonecall was made to Ballyshannon station. It was a politician,” Mr Collins told the documentary.

“The gist of the conversation was that none of a particular family should be made suspect of Mary’s disappearance.”

Mr Murray also alleged there had been political interference into the case.

“I know that, as a result of that phonecall, certain people weren’t allowed to be interviewed, it was all ‘hands off them’ and we were to look somewhere else,” he said.

Ms Doherty told the film that she believes her sister was murdered by someone known to her because she had been subjected to sexual abuse.

“I believe that Mary had a secret. And because Mary was feisty, Mary would have told. So I believe that Mary had to be killed to stop her from talking,” Ms Doherty said.

Mary Boyle — The Untold Story is available for viewing on YouTube.


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