Skeletal remains recovered from Crosshaven identified as Barry Coughlan

Despite exhaustive searches of the river in 2004, Mr Coughlan and his car were not found until last month.
Skeletal remains recovered from Crosshaven identified as Barry Coughlan

Barry Coughlan has been missing since 2004. His remains were identified today by gardaí after a car was recovered last month from the waters off Hugh Coveney Pier. File picture. 

Skeletal remains recovered from a car submerged off Hugh Coveney Pier in Crosshaven, Co Cork have been identified as that of Barry Coughlan. 

Mr Coughlan, 23, was last seen in the Cork coastal village near the location of the car after he went missing on May 1, 2004. 

He was last seen outside the former Moonduster Bar in Crosshaven between 1.30am and 2am on Saturday May 1. His car had been parked nearby.

The pier is just a few hundred metres from where Mr Coughlan was last seen.

Despite exhaustive river searches involving boats and divers at the time, Mr Coughlan and his car were never found.

Garda divers conducting a search of the waters near Hugh Coveney Pier where the car was discovered. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger
Garda divers conducting a search of the waters near Hugh Coveney Pier where the car was discovered. Picture; David Creedon / Anzenberger

Last month, gardaí retrieved Mr Coughlan's red Toyota Corolla hatchback, registration 98-C-18625 from the bed of the Owenabue River after "an item of interest" was identified by members of Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery (CCMPSR) unit.

The CCMPSR unit had been testing equipment at the time and contacted gardaí after an inspection by their divers identified the submerged object as a vehicle. 

An investigation was launched and gardaí informed Mr Coughlan's family to expect Garda activity in the area.

Garda divers discovered the vehicle on the river bed resting on its roof, buried deep in mud and silt. 

The vehicle was recovered by crane and removed to a Garda compound for forensic examination.

Skeletal remains were later identified and transferred to Cork City Morgue. 

DNA analysis conducted by Forensic Science Ireland has now confirmed the identify of the remains as Mr Coughlan. 

A file is now being prepared for the coroner by investigating gardaí.

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