Saturday 18 November 2017

'In our heart of hearts, we know it's him they've found'

Michael McHale

THE girlfriend of the man whose skull is suspected to have been found on farmland believes in her "heart of hearts" that it is his.

Paul Byrne has been missing since July 15, 2009, when two men in a wine-coloured Mitsubishi Charisma drove to his home in Kilmartin Green in Tallaght, Dublin and drove out of the estate with the 20-year-old.

Martina McQuillan (20), mother of Mr Byrne's two daughters, Abbey (2) and six-month-old Faith, said that since hearing about the awful discovery his family had been left "absolutely devastated".

"I think I'm going to hang on to the last, until we find out for certain it's Paul," Ms McQuillan said. "But in our heart of hearts, we know it's him they've found."

The young mother now faces an agonising wait by the phone for gardai to inform her whether the remains found in farmland near Blessington, Co Wicklow on Thursday are those of the young father.

"We haven't really heard much from the guards since we found out," Ms McQuillan said yesterday at the couple's home.

Yesterday, Mr Byrne's aunt Debbie Byrne and his sister Leah went to the site in a desperate search for information that could finally put their minds to rest. But Ms McQuillan has no intention of following them.

"I'm not going near it (where the remains were found). I have two children to look after here," she added.

She also said she can "completely understand" comments made by Paul's mother, Ashley Dempsey, that she hopes the remains are her son's. "No mother wants to hear that her son has been murdered, but the agony of not knowing what happened to Paul is too much," Ms McQuillan said.

Irish Independent

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