No clues emerged locally, and gardaí then switched their focus to outside the area. Their inquiries led them to Joanne Hayes, who lived in Abbeydorney, about 60km away.
The 82-day tribunal attracted an enormous amount of media coverage, with the first few weeks being especially dramatic as Ms Hayes spent five harrowing days in the witness box.
News of the latest development in the investigation has come as a surprise. However, when the Garda cold case investigation began a few years ago, it was felt that new lines of inquiry were being followed and that some new evidence may have, perhaps, come to light.