Sunday 18 February 2018

Gardai believe missing mum met 'violent death'

Mother of two Marie Greene has been missing from her home in St Mel's Terrace since February 13
Mother of two Marie Greene has been missing from her home in St Mel's Terrace since February 13
Gardai take part in the search for Marie Greene near Athlone, Co Westmeath, yesterday

Eimear Ni Bhraonain

GARDAI probing the disappearance of a mother of two now believe she suffered a "violent death".

A man in his 60s was still being questioned last night after being arrested on suspicion of the murder of Marie Greene. However, the 37-year-old's body has not been located.

CCTV footage showing the last known movements of Ms Greene in her hometown of Athlone, Co Westmeath, is a crucial part of the investigation.

Ms Greene vanished on the night of Sunday, February 13, after she left St Mel's Terrace where she lived with her mother.

Winnie Greene feared the worst almost immediately as her daughter's disappearance was "out of character".

The local man in his 60s was arrested early yesterday morning. He was detained under Section Four of the Criminal Justice Act and can be held without charge until this afternoon.

Bogland was being searched on the Mullingar Road area outside of Athlone yesterday for Ms Greene's body. Parts of the River Shannon have already been trawled and the garda air support unit was involved in earlier searches.

Forensic officers examined a house on the outskirts of Athlone yesterday afternoon as they looked for evidence. It's understood they are also carrying out a technical examination of a vehicle.

Supt Aidan Glacken, who is leading the probe, told the Irish Independent that last week's public appeal for information had yielded a "very positive" response.

"The primary aim is to locate Marie for the sake of her family," he said. "Our investigation so far would suggest that she may have met with violence."

Supt Glacken would not comment on the last known sighting of Ms Greene. However, a local source said she was seen getting into a man's vehicle on the night of her disappearance.

"We know she was in the town and not far from her home, she was seen walking in town," said Supt Glacken.

Ms Greene cared for her mother, Winnie, who earlier described how her daughter had been in "the best form in the world".

She last saw Ms Greene at 9pm on the night she disappeared as her daughter left the house following a phone call.

"She told whoever she was talking to on the phone that she was going out the door. That's the last I saw of Marie," she said.

Gardai were contacted and the alarm was raised when Marie failed to return home by 3.30am.

Yesterday, an ambulance was called to Winnie's house after the distraught mum collapsed. Paramedics assisted but she was not taken to hospital.


Ms Greene's first cousin, Derek Horan, admitted family members were worried about her safety. "We were always worried over her getting into cars," he said.

He said she accepted lifts from men but they were always known to her. "She looked out for her mother, she lived with her mother and sisters Julie and Helen."

People in the small town sympathised with Winnie yesterday. "I didn't know Marie personally but I'd see her around town. She was very well-known locally," said John Gallagher.

Anybody with information on the last movements of Ms Greene can contact gardai in Athlone confidentially on 090 6498550, or the garda confidential line on 1800 666111.

Irish Independent

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