Gardaí have made a 'significant development' in an 18 year old missing person investigation after Tony Lynch's car was found almost two decades after he went missing.
Gardaí investigating the disappearance of Michael ‘Tony’ Lynch from his home in Co Monaghan in 2002 reported the development after a car was recovered from Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.
This arose after members of the public noticed an anomaly in the water yesterday.
After realising that they had found an old car, the three local men, who were aware of An Garda Síochána’s renewed appeal for information about the location of Mr Lynch’s car, made contact with Clones Garda Station.
Gardai made contact with the PSNI and shortly after 2pm yesterday, divers carried out an underwater search of the lake and discovered that a car was submerged.
The car has been recovered for examination and is believed to be the Mitsubishi belonging to Mr Lynch who was reported missing 18 years ago.
As part of the renewed appeal into Mr Lynch's disappearance in January of this year, gardaí has already searched 10 lakes in Co Monaghan. These searches were to continue and were to include lakes in and around the border region, however the searches were suspended in March 2020 arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new information is groundbreaking in this investigation after gardaí already exhausted a number of leads.
Michael Lynch, who was known locally as Tony, was 55 years old and was originally from Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh. He was living in Clones prior to his disappearance, and was reported missing on January 9, 2002.
The last known sighting of Mr Lynch was on Fermanagh Street, Clones, at 6pm on January 6 of that year.
Inspector Graham Tolan of Monaghan Garda Station said, "An Garda Síochána will continue to investigate missing person’s cases for as long as it takes. In this case An Garda Síochána have been searching for Mr Lynch for 18 years.
"We are grateful to the members of the public who alerted us to this anomaly in the water. I’d like to remind the public that small pieces of information, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can often prove vital, as is the case today.
"We will continue to work with Police in Lisnaskea who are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery".
A family liaison officer attached to An Garda Síochana has been appointed and is liaising with Mr Lynch’s family.