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River remains linked to missing publican

DENTAL records and DNA will be used to determine if human remains found in a submerged car in an Irish river are those of a man who vanished 22 years ago.

The badly rusted Daihatsu Charade car -- which was found during a training dive by a sub-aqua club -- is believed to contain the remains of William Fennessy (54), who disappeared on March 30, 1990.


The car matches the vehicle that Mr Fennessy was last seen driving -- and gardai hope that dental records and DNA evidence will help confirm that, as suspected, the remains recovered in the car are those of the missing publican.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margaret Bolster will now examine the remains -- and conduct dental and DNA samples that will be cross-checked against Mr Fennessy's records.

Incredibly, the car remained undiscovered for 22 years, despite being less than 400 metres from Fermoy on the River Blackwater.

The Blackwater Search and Rescue Group were on a training operation last Monday when they stumbled across it just as they were about to return to shore.

The vehicle had apparently been swept into a very deep section of the river -- and had been filled with silt and stones from successive floods.


Despite a massive appeal and successive search operations since 1990, no trace of Mr Fennessy or his car were ever found.

The middle-aged man had worked as a publican and auctioneer. Mr Fennessy had also served as a local councillor.

His disappearance shocked both his family and friends.

His bank accounts were never accessed after he was last seen -- and there were no confirmed sightings of him anywhere in Ireland or overseas since March 1990.

Supt Michael Comyns said foul play was not suspected.