NewsCrime Desk

Gardai in intensive search for missing teen in marshland area

Crime DeskBy Shuki Byrne
Search: Specialist teams are combing an area in Dundalk
Search: Specialist teams are combing an area in Dundalk

Specialist Garda teams are scouring marshland as part of an investigation into a missing teenager who vanished without a trace 18 years ago.

Ciara Breen was just 17 when she vanished the day before Valentine's Day in 1997 in County Louth. 

The young girl had been at an Italian restaurant with her mother that evening, and was later found to have climbed out of her window in the middle of the night. It is believed she was going to meet someone, but she was never seen again. 

Detectives investigating the disappearance have interviewed over 100 people in connection with the incident but have not established any solid leads. 

Last year, however, Gardai were spurred on after two potential witnesses came forward with information regarding Ciara's disappearance. Gardai said at the time  the witnesses had "been of great assistance to the investigation team."

A local man was questioned at the time time in relation to Ciara's disappearance but was never charged. 

A man in his 50s was arrested earlier this year in connection with the disappearance. The man was detained by Gardai in April and was later released without charge. 

Gardai are today searching an area known as Balmer's Bog, which is off the Ardee Road in Dundalk. 

A team from Dundalk Garda Station is being assisted by members of the Garda Sub Aqua Unit and the Technical Bureau.

Speaking to the press today, Supt Gerry Curley of Dundalk Garda Station said specialist equipment is being utilised in the search for Ciara after new information was gleaned from a member of the public. 

The investigation team can be contacted at Dundalk Garda Station at (042) 9388400, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.