Gardaí renew appeal to help identify East Cork skeletal remains

Gardaí renew appeal to help identify East Cork skeletal remains

The nightdress discovered at the scene where skeletal remains were found on a section of the proposed Midleton to Youghal Greenway.

Gardaí are renewing an appeal for help to identify human remains found alongside an old railway line in east Cork over two years ago.

The body, believed to be of a woman, was discovered near the Shanty Gate on the old railway line at Westpark, 3km from Midleton, on the afternoon of January 5, 2021. The discovery was made by workers developing a greenway along the old railway line.

Efforts to identify her have so far failed.

A garda spokesman said they are again appealing to the public for information.

A small number of people came forward in the months after the initial discovery and had DNA taken from them for testing but no link was found.

The garda spokesman said: “To date, a number of DNA samples have been compared against the National DNA Database, a positive match has not been made at this time. Ongoing examinations of missing person’s records have not yet identified any potential matches.” 

A crucifix and other items found close to the remains are believed to have been from a coffin.

The remains are believed to be those of a female older than 70 years of age at the time of her death. She is believed to have been between 5’ and 5’ 2” in height, with a large frame. 

She is also believed to have suffered from arthritis and she wore dentures. An item of clothing, 50 inches in length and thought to be a nightdress, was found nearby.


An examination of the remains was carried out by the assistant state pathologist, Dr Margaret Bolster at Cork University Hospital. Dr Bolster also visited the scene where the remains were discovered. 

A forensic anthropologist also collaborated with investigators.

Late last year, the Department of Justice confirmed that they were provided with details of 13 unidentified whole remains and 14 partial remains, some of which are historical, in returns from the country’s coroners last February. In the coming weeks, returns for 2022 will be sent to the department.

In 2021, a forum was established including representatives from the Department of Justice, Forensic Science Ireland, An Garda Síochána, and the Office of the State Pathologist with regard to unidentified remains. Coroners across the country were then asked to provide the forum with details regarding any unidentified remains in their districts.

Anyone with information regarding the remains found in Midleton is asked to contact Midleton Garda Station 021 4621550, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111, or any Garda Station.

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