Missing Mary Boyle hate-mail suspect dies

A man suspected of sending hate mail to the mother of Mary Boyle, who disappeared in 1977, aged six, has died before he could appear before the courts.

Mary Boyle, aged six, went missing in 1977.

The man was reportedly due to be charged by gardaí, in connection with hurtful letters sent to heartbroken Ann Boyle, at her home in Kincasslagh, Co Donegal, last year.

One of the letters had indicated that it had come from Mary, a twin, who is Ireland’s longest-missing person. Mary disappeared when she was visiting her grandparents in Caselard, outside Ballyshannon, on the Donegal-Fermanagh border, in March, 1977.

Despite a 41-year garda investigation, no trace of her has ever been found.

Last year, her mother received a number of hurtful letters to her home.

She later told RTÉ’s Prime Time that she felt ill after receiving the vile letters.

An investigation was launched and a prime suspect was identified by gardaí.

A man was due to be charged in connection with the malicious mail, but he has since died.

A garda source said: “This aspect of the Mary Boyle investigation will not be pursued.

“A person suspected of sending these letters was identified locally, but has since passed away.”

A protest recently held outside the county coroner’s surgery, at Millbrae, Stranorlar, called for Dr Denis McCauley to hold a post-mortem into missing Mary.

Missing Mary’s cousin, Joe Craig, who organised the rally, said time was running out to bring whoever was responsible to justice.

He said: “We need this inquest to be held to help us finally piece together the dots of what really happened to Mary on that day in 1977.

“This needs to happen, so that justice can be served and that the person behind Mary’s disappearance can be brought to justice.

“Time is running out and we simply cannot allow this to be dragged on any longer.

“All we are asking for is to allow the events of that day to be pieced together at an inquest, so we can move on. Is that too much to ask?”

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