Monday 21 May 2018

All evidence in case of disappearance of Mary Boyle (6) to be re-examined

Mary Boyle disappeared in 1977
Mary Boyle disappeared in 1977
Ann Boyle, whose life has been filled with grief since the disappearance of her daughter
Charlie and Ann Boyle with a picture of their daughter Mary. Photo: Crispin Rodwell
Catherine Devine

Catherine Devine

A fresh investigation into the disappearance of six-year-old Mary Boyle will be launched with all evidence and suspects to be re-examined.

The Irish Daily Star reports that senior gardai have confirmed that the cold case unit of the gardai is launching a new investigation into the mystery.

It is understood the investigation will be launched in the next few weeks and will last up to six months.

“The first thing that will happen is that the team will go to Donegal (where Mary disappeared) to get a feel for the area,” a source told newspaper.

The source also revealed that the detectives would draw up a list of all serving and retired gardai that investigated Mary’s disappearance in 1977.

The source said that the new cold case team would have no pre-conceived ideas of who was or wasn’t a suspect and that all evidence would be followed.

At the end of the new investigation a report with the findings will be given to the Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan.

After a documentary into the investigation earlier this month called Mary Boyle: The Untold Story, there were claims of political interference by two former gardai involved in the case.

Retired sergeant Martin Collins claimed a political figure rang gardai at the height of the probe and said:

“The gist was that none of a particular family should be made suspect for Mary’s interference.”

Former detective Aidan Murray told the documentary he believed he was close to getting a suspect to confess to murdering Mary but was told to “ease-off” on the suspect by a senior officer.

Mary’s twin sister Ann said she believes Mary was being sexually abused and was killed to cover "the secret".

Six-year-old Mary Boyle had been at her grandparents' house in Cashelard, a remote and boggy townland outside Ballyshannon, where the extended family had lunch. Her uncle, Gerry Gallagher, was the last person to see her alive after she walked back to her grandparent’s house but never made it there.

Gardai, family and scores of neighbours scoured the 450-yard stretch of land between the only two houses in the area, in a search that escalated over the following weeks into a trawl of bog holes, lakes, streams and the countryside beyond. Not a trace of Mary was ever found.

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