Remains of baby found in Bray recycling centre among details of 44 unidentified bodies made public

A garda car leaves the Greenstar recycling facility in Fassaroe, Bray, in May 2016. Photo: Tony Gavin.

Tom GalvinBray People

The Department of Justice has released the details of the unidentified remains of 44 bodies, including one in Bray and a second in Greystones, in an effort to finally identify them and bring some closure for their families.

The Unidentified Human Remains Database lists all the known details of the 44 people who remain unidentified and includes grim, but ultimately moving details, such as “a large multi-coloured tattoo consisting of a serpent with flowers and a crest with ‘Mam-Dad’ on the body of a male recovered from the sea at Howth to “a rusted medal with a small green coloured relic of Our Lady” found on the body of someone pulled from the River Liffey, in Dublin.

More moving still were details of the body of “an infant female”, who was named Alannah by officers investigating the case, found at the Greenstar Recycling Centre, in Bray, on May 4, 2016, “which was transected – upper torso had damage to the neck and face and was missing the left hand – the lower torso had umbilical cord attached”.

The entry in the database adds: “The body was obviously that of an infant female who was either still born or died a short time after birth.”

The remains are now interred in Redford Cemetery, Greystones.

Meanwhile, details of the body of a male, found on the North Beach, in Greystones, were described quite sparingly as: “Long straight dark hair. Front tooth missing. Next watch, blue face with black/grey strap.”

There were no details of age and the deceased was interred at Glasnevin Cemetery.

Last December, coroners were asked to return updated details of any unidentified remains for their district as part of their annual statutory returns to the Department of Justice, which collated the data.

As a result, details on the unidentified remains of 44 people were released and a new database created which can be accessed by the public. Anyone who recognises any information they think might identify someone they know is missing is urged to contact authorities.

DNA profiles for 28 of the unidentified remains are now on the National DNA Database. The Department of Justice intends to arrange for samples of the remaining 16 unidentified remains to be obtained.

In some cases, complete bodies have been recovered, but in others only partial remains have been found.

Many of the locations for finds are around the coastline.

Speaking at the launch of the Unidentified Remains Database, junior minister James Browne said the lack of closure for loved ones must be remembered.

“I know that the families of missing people have long called for the release of this information. We have listened to that request, and I welcome the publication of that data,” said Mr Browne.

“Importantly, there may be something contained in the information released today that triggers a memory or rings a bell. If you or someone you know has any information that might assist in solving a missing person case, I would urge you to report it to An Garda Síochána.

“It’s never too late, and any information provided may help those suffering the loss of their missing loved one to find some answers.”

The database can be found at: