Gardai search bog as new investigation into missing Mary Boyle begins

Mary Boyle
Mary Boyle

Gardai have commenced a search in a bog in Donegal as a fresh investigation is underway into the disappearance of six-year-old Mary Boyle.

Gardai confirmed that the area was previously searched but is now being drained.

It was announced earlier this week that a fresh investigation into the disappearance of Mary Boyle would be launched with all evidence and suspects to be re-examined.

The gardai said that the new cold case team would have no pre-conceived ideas of who was or wasn’t a suspect and that all evidence would be followed.

PJ Coughlan, the fisherman who alerted gardai that Mary Boyle was first missing, said he believes the six-year-old was snatched by a red car but that gardai failed to take note of his statement because they already had a suspect.

Coughlan said he saw a red Volkswagen Beetle speeding away from the area that Mary went missing ten minutes before he saw Mary’s uncle Gerry frantically searching for her.

“I believe I saw her being driven away in a car. There’s no doubt in my mind she was lifted,” he told the Irish Daily Star.

Six-year-old Mary Boyle had been at her grandparents' house in Cashelard, a remote and boggy townland outside Ballyshannon, where the extended family had lunch.

Her uncle, Gerry Gallagher, was the last person to see her alive after she walked back to her grandparent’s house but never made it there.

Gardai, family and scores of neighbours scoured the 450-yard stretch of land between the only two houses in the area, in a search that escalated over the following weeks into a trawl of bog holes, lakes, streams and the countryside beyond. Not a trace of Mary was ever found.