Sunday 21 July 2019

Gardai working with Spanish and French police after decomposed torso found in fishermens' nets off Cork coast

Castletownbere harbour in west Cork. Credit: Google Maps
Castletownbere harbour in west Cork. Credit: Google Maps

Ralph Riegel

A POST mortem examination was conducted on a decomposed human torso found by shocked fishermen in nets off the Irish coast.

The grim discovery was made by French fishermen as they checked their nets while fishing some around 250km off the south west coast.

The fishing boat 'Rio de Bousa' immediately brought the remains on board and steamed towards Castletownbere in west Cork.

Gardaí brought the remains to Cork University Hospital (CUH) last Sunday where a full post mortem examination was conducted by Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster.

One west Cork fishing source indicated that only partial remains were found.

These included part of a lower torso and legs. Indications are that the body had been in the water for some considerable time.

Some clothing fragments containing water-logged papers were found on the body and this is now being examined in a bid to try to identify the person involved.

The remains are believed to be those of a man. There are no indications so far the individual involved may be Irish.

One source warned that identification may ultimately require DNA genetic fingerprint analysis.

The fishing boat recovered its nets from an area of sea mid way between Ireland and Devon/Cornwall which ranks as a very busy fishing and commercial shipping area.

Gardaí are now liaising with Interpol to consult with the UK, Spanish and French police over whether the remains match any missing individuals from those countries.

The discovery was made on Saturday evening as the French vessel was hauling in its nets after several days of fishing operations.

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