And yesterday a source confirmed: “The operation will go on over the weekend, this is not a Monday to Friday, nine to five job, whatever it takes to discover one way or the other whether the girl’s remains are here will be done.”
The same source also disputed claims from former detective Alan Bailey which criticised the way the search efforts were brought into the public domain.
Mr Bailey, now retired, but who for many years led Operation Trace, effectively the force’s cold case unit which led the search for Ciara and other missing females such as Fiona Sinnott, Jo Jo Dollard, and Fiona Pender, told media outlets: “It’s not the way my operation would have run.
“I’d be conscious of the secondary victims — the family and friends.
“I would have brought in my team and started my search. If it got out in public, I would explain what we were doing.
“Maybe they are trying to put psychological pressure on someone.”
But the source responded: “Alan would have his own way of doing things, and it worked for him, however a massive Garda presence in an area all of a sudden is due to attract public attention so rather than wait to be asked why we were doing what we were doing, the decision was made to be proactive with the information, to keep the public informed, and hope that perhaps revealing the location may jog someone’s memory.
“We are following up what is regarded as a significant lead and openly welcome the support of the public.”
Ciara went missing in the early hours of February 13, 1997, six weeks before her 18th birthday.