Tuesday 16 July 2019

Car is key to 30-year-old mystery of Irish couple who vanished without a trace

Their disappearance remains one of Ireland's most baffling missing persons cases

Vanished: Conor and Sheila Dwyer were last seen in April, 1991
Vanished: Conor and Sheila Dwyer were last seen in April, 1991

Ralph Riegel

Gardaí admitted that tracing a 30-year-old Toyota Cressida car or its parts now holds the key to solving the mystery of an Irish couple who vanished without trace in 1991.

Conor and Sheila Dwyer both vanished from their home in Fermoy, Co Cork, on April 30, 1991, and have not been seen since.

Their disappearance remains one of Ireland's most baffling missing persons cases.

Despite a major investigation, both gardaí and the couple's family have been unable to determine their fate.

Gardaí stressed that their investigation into the missing couple remains open and active, though it has now been several years since any possible information came to light.

But detectives believe tracing their Toyota Cressida car holds the key to the mystery over what happened and urged anyone with information to contact them.

The car, a white saloon, had the registration number 5797 ZT and has never been found.

The Garda investigation was hampered by the fact the couple, both in their 60s, vanished with all their travel documents left at their Chapel Hill home.

Their bank accounts were never accessed and, despite numerous appeals, TV reconstructions and even an RTÉ radio documentary, no confirmed trace of the couple was ever found.

The TV reconstruction revolved around a replica Toyota Cressida car which Fermoy gardaí believe now holds the key to the mystery.

A possible sighting was reported in Munich in Germany in 1993 but both Bavarian police and Interpol were unable to confirm it.

The German information intrigued gardaí because Mr Dwyer, a handyman, had worked for a time in Ireland for a German businessman.

Mr Dwyer ran errands for the businessman and also looked after his cars, including a Rolls-Royce.

"The file is open but, at this point, we just don't know what happened," a Garda source said.

"Without any possible sightings to investigate, our best hope is tracing that Toyota Cressida car.

"Or what might remain of it, such as a licence plate or engine block."

The last contact anyone had with the couple was on May 1 when Ms Dwyer spoke to her sister on the phone.

The last sighting was by a neighbour near their Chapel Hill home at 9.30am on April 30 as the couple left to attend a funeral.

On May 22 the alarm was raised when Ms Dwyer's sisters, Maisie and Nellie, became concerned at their inability to locate the couple and alerted gardaí.

The disappearance shocked neighbours, friends and family because all had reported nothing unusual with either Conor or Sheila Dwyer.

The couple vanished, leaving behind all their personal belongings including photo albums, clothing and even jewellery.

Irish Independent

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