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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Gardaí may return to dig in search for little Mary

Mary Boyle was six when she went missing in 1977
Mary Boyle was six when she went missing in 1977

Greg Harkin

Garda forensic experts may return to the site of a dig in the search for schoolgirl Mary Boyle, the six-year-old who has been missing since March 1977.

Gardaí yesterday moved onto farmland 2km from Cashelard, Ballyshannon, near to where Mary was last seen.

A Garda spokesman said the site of the new dig had been examined before "without any evidential material" being found.

However, officers said the new search was a result of a request from the family.

They were being assisted by a forensic anthropologist.

The new probe on land near the family farm in Co Donegal was welcomed by the girl's mother Ann.

A digger moved onto the site at 7am yesterday. Initial examinations of the scene continued until around 2.30pm. Although no new evidence was found, gardaí say they may return to the site at a future date.

The dig is separate from a review of the case announced earlier this week by the Garda cold case unit, the Serious Crime Review Team.

Sources say gardaí are keen to reassure Mary's family that everything is being done to search for clues.

Welcoming the review of the case, Mary's mother Ann Boyle said: "Anything that will help us find Mary again is welcomed by all of our family."

Mary's twin sister, Ann Doherty, has been behind a highprofile campaign calling for a new investigation into the case.

The new search took place just 24 hours before a 'March for Mary', which takes place in Ballyshannon today.

Organiser Naomi Brady has asked anyone who is planning to attend the march to wear purple and white ribbons in honour of Mary, who was understood to be wearing similar ribbons when she disappeared.

Irish Independent

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