Thursday 23 March 2017

Trench to be dug up in search for mum

Georgina O'Halloran

The family of a woman who went missing more then 30 years ago are hopeful of finding her remains and finally laying her to rest after a new search begins.

The family of 57-year-old Alice Clifford are overjoyed by a decision by the coroner to direct further excavation work to be carried out near a trench which was filled in the morning after she disappeared.

Mrs Clifford -- who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's -- of Cremona Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10, went missing from St Loman's Hospital in west Dublin on November 28, 1979.

The Dublin county coroner, Dr Kieran Geraghty, adjourned an inquest into Mrs Clifford's death following evidence from retired electrician John Fitzpatrick and the then assistant director of nursing, Tom Kelleher, which suggested a trench, which was recently excavated by gardai in a search for Mrs Clifford's remains, extended beyond the area which was dug up.

Gardai carried out excavation work at a site at the rear of the hospital last week after receiving information from Mr Fitzpatrick in August about a trench which was filled in at the hospital on the morning after Mrs Clifford went missing.

The coroner said he was adjourning the inquest to allow further excavations to take place.

Speaking after the inquest, Mrs Clifford's daughter, Pat O'Reilly, who was accompanied by two sisters and two brothers, said they were "over the moon" with the coroner's decision.

She said they were angry they were not told about the trench at the time and called on anyone with any further information to contact the gardai.

Irish Independent

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