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Wednesday 17 July 2019

Mystery surrounds skeletal remains of woman found in roadside drain

Investigation into whether death was from natural causes, road accident - or 'sinister'

Closed: Gardaí shut the road near Ferns, Co Wexford after the remains of a woman were found by a walker yesterday
Closed: Gardaí shut the road near Ferns, Co Wexford after the remains of a woman were found by a walker yesterday

Tom Brady and Conor McCrave

The skeletal remains found in a drain in Co Wexford are believed to be those of a woman.

A garda investigation is under way today following the discovery yesterday by a woman out walking her dog.

The body was found alongside a road in the townland of Ballyandrew, near Ferns, Co Wexford shortly before midday.

Although the gender has not yet been officially established, it is understood the remains are those of a woman.

A small backpack was found beside the body, it is understood.

A post mortem was due to be conducted today, the results of which will determine the investigation, and whether the gardaí are dealing with a crime or tragic death.

Gardaí have said there appears to have been no attempt to conceal or bury the remains but they were concerned, particularly as the find was made in a relatively quiet area.

Officers are checking the list of people reported missing in the region as they make preliminary inquiries to identify the remains.

One officer said: "This could be a death from natural causes, or possibly a traffic incident or something more sinister. We are not likely to know until we receive the PM results".

Local gardaí in Bunclody are being assisted by officers from the district headquarters in Enniscorthy.

A decision on whether to bring in a forensic anthropologist to help with the inquiries will only be taken by gardaí following the post mortem examination.

It is as yet not known how long the remains had been in the location where it was found.

Local farmer Harry Murphy said he was "shocked" when he realised a body bad been discovered within a mile of his home.

"I was coming through and I didn't know what was happening when I saw the guards," he said.

"This is a quiet area and I was shocked because nothing ever really happens like this around here.

"I go up and down that road every day, I only live a mile up the road," he added.

Residents in the quiet farming community said they are not aware of anyone who is missing from the area.

Local Fianna Fáil councillor Pip Breen said the local community was shocked but hopeful the discovery would bring "closure" once the remains are identified.

"Everyone who is missing a relative will say to themselves: 'Is this one of ours?'

"And that's the biggest thing here," he said.

"We have to wait to see and everyone is only guessing for something at this stage.

"There is nothing good about this and the only thing is it might bring closure for someone."

Irish Independent

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