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Wednesday 21 August 2019

'This was not a random attack' - Cold case unit's new probe into 1984 killing

Marie Tierney
Marie Tierney

Ken Foy

Gardaí are investigating if a woman was strangled by a man well known to her who then dumped her body in a ditch.

During a major cold case review this week, officers made a fresh appeal for information in the tragic case of Kilkenny mother-of-two Marie Tierney (34), who they believe was savagely murdered by a man in October 1984.

While no arrests have been made, a prime suspect is still alive and gardaí have been investigating the death of Ms Tierney for a number of months.

"This was not a random attack. There is no doubt about that," a source said.

It emerged last night that while no arrests had been made, officers had interviewed a number of people with knowledge of the case.

Read more: Fresh appeal for information about mother-of-two murdered 34 years ago

Medical experts determined in 1984 that the "probable cause" of Ms Tierney's death was manual strangulation.

Officers are working on the theory that the woman was attacked in a house and murdered. She was then driven to a location nearby and her body dumped in a ditch, after which her killer fled the scene.

Her badly decomposed remains were not found until December of that year.

Gardaí announced details of their investigation this week. They said Ms Tierney left her home in Clinstown, Jenkinstown, on the night of October 21, 1984, and her car was found the next day. Her body was discovered two months later.

To date more than 500 lines of inquiry have been opened and more than 200 witness statements recorded.

"Marie Tierney was a 34-year-old married woman with two children, aged 12 and 13 at the time. She resided with her husband and their two children at Clinstown, Co Kilkenny, where they ran a grocery store and petrol station," said a spokesman.

"She was reported missing on October 22, 1984, by her husband. She left their house on the evening of October 21 at approximately 10.30pm in the family car and had not returned."

Gardaí located the Tierney family's car at Newpark Fenn, Kilkenny, later that day.

Ms Tierney's body was found in a ditch on December 21, 1984, by a man out walking in Bleach Road, Kilkenny.

Irish Independent

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