Saturday 21 April 2018

Chief suspect in murder of missing teenager Ciara Breen dies in Garda custody

Dundalk garda station (inset Ciara Breen)
Dundalk garda station (inset Ciara Breen)
Ciara Breen

Ken Foy and Robin Schiller

A man who died in Garda custody on Thursday night was arrested twice by gardai investigating the suspected murder of missing teenager Ciara Breen.

Liam Mullen, who was the chief suspect in the teenager's disappearance, died of a suspected overdose in Dundalk garda station, the Herald reports.

The 55-year-old was detained on Thursday at approximately 8.30pm in the town centre on suspicion of drink-driving.

It is understood he swallowed a substance - believed to be drugs - before his arrest.

While in custody in Dundalk garda station, Mr Mullen fell ill at approximately 10pm. An on-call doctor was requested to attend the station to treat him.

Despite efforts by the doctor to resuscitate him, Mr Mullen was pronounced dead a short while later.

Read more: Man dies in garda custody after being arrested last night

An investigation has now been launched by the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Liam Mullen
Liam Mullen

A post-mortem examination was expected to be carried out last night.

"At this stage GSOC continues to examine matters under S.91 of the Garda Síochána Act 2005," a statement last night said.

Mr Mullen was the chief suspect in the disappearance and suspected murder of Ciara (17), who was reported missing on February 13, 1997.

Ciara's mother Bernadette was last night too upset to comment.

Mullen was first arrested over the disappearance in 1999.

He was arrested again in 2015 after gardaí received two letters and took statements from two people who came forward with fresh information. He was later released without charge. He had always maintained his innocence and said he had no relationship with Ciara other than to say hello on the street.

A number of files were sent to the DPP in relation to the case but no charges were ever brought.

Irish Independent

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