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cold case Brother of missing man hopes fresh claims can help solve 23-year-old case

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Matthew Carroll has been missing for 23 years

Matthew Carroll has been missing for 23 years

Matthew Carroll has been missing for 23 years

The brother of a missing Southill man feared murdered because he had knowledge of crimes committed by members of a local criminals, has called on gardai to examine fresh claims about his disappearance.

Gardai are believed to have received a letter last January, which included specific details about why Matthew Carroll was abducted and murdered and who was involved in his killing.

An audio recording, which could prove significant to the garda investigation, has also been provided to gardai.

Mr Carroll, 30, was last seen alive at the Steering Wheel pub, Roxboro, Limerick, on June 8, 1998, celebrating his local soccer team Carew Park FC’s victory in the Lawson Cup.

Gardai believe he left the pub between 7pm-8pm and made his way in the direction of his home at Rose Court, Keyes Park, but he never arrived there.

Despite a 23-year long investigation, which examined one major line of enquiry that Mr Carroll was killed by local criminals and buried in a concrete tomb, gardai have failed to find any trace of him.

Garda Headquarters declined to comment when asked specifically about the fresh claims.

“The investigation remains ongoing and active at this time. A Senior Investigating Officer is appointed to oversee and manage this investigation,” a garda spokeswoman replied.

“An Garda Síochána does not comment on the specifics of any ongoing investigation,” she added.

Seamus Carroll, Mathew’s only sibling, appealed to gardai to “follow up” the claims, “and hopefully we can put this to rest once and for all”.

Mr Carroll said he believes the new claims are “significant” enough for gardai to question individuals named in a letter sent to them on January 17.

The information has also been passed to gardai via the Garda Confidential telephone line (1800-666-111), as well as to a senior member of the Garda Serious Crime Review Team (SCRT), based in Dublin, which comes under the command of the Assistant Commissioner, Organised & Serious Crime and the office of the Detective Chief Superintendent, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation (NBCI).

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Seamus Carroll said: “Somebody out there has information, it’s now more than 20 years, and my mother Teresa went to her grave not knowing where Matthew’s body was.”

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“I would just appeal to those people who have information to pass it on. We would love to know Matthew’s location, where we could find, even just to have a bone, to bury it.”

“Just so we could go to the graveyard, so Matthew could go down with his mother, that’s all she ever wanted.”

Teresa Carroll, (84), who passed away in 2015, “went to the grave a broken woman, and even on her death-bed she was looking for Matthew”, Mr Carroll said.

Speaking to this reporter before she died, Teresa Carroll said: “I want to be buried with my son. I’ve told Seamus he has to put Matthew’s bones in on top of me, should I go before his body is found.”

Seamus Carroll said he now hopes fresh claims will help him fulfill his mother’s dying wishes.

Mr Carroll said the night of his brother’s disappearance is fresh in his memory “as if it was yesterday”.

In a tragic twist, Seamus Carroll walked passed the Steering Wheel pub around 8pm on the night, totally unaware he would not see his brother alive again.

“I remember it was a sunny night, at about 8pm I passed there, and there were about fifty/sixty people outside the pub drinking. To be told that not one of those people saw anything, is hard to believe.”

“Someone had to have seen something that happened there that night.”

“I believe Matthew was murdered. At this stage, it’s not even a matter of someone going to prison or getting locked up - we just want to bury Matthew and put it to rest, we want someplace to go and mourn,” Mr Carroll said.

“We couldn't do it while my mother was alive but I hope we can do it now, so she can have her wish that Matthew will be buried with her.”

“It has been very hard on the family. My own kids talk about their uncle Matthew, but they don’t remember him, it’s just very sad.”

“It’s hard on all of us, particularly on anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, Matthew’s birthday is next week, so it’s always on your mind.”

“On the run up to June you're thinking of his anniversary, then in July, it’s his birthday, and then it’s Christmas, so he is always on our minds.”

“At this point, if we could just lay him to rest, please, at this point.”

Matthew Carroll was one of three security guards at Dell computers in Raheen who went missing in a three year period (1998, 1999, and 2000), however gardai have never established a connection between the three cases.

Des Walsh, (25), from Dromkeen, went missing from Limerick city centre on September 18, 1999.

Five months after Mr Walsh vanished, Aengus Gussie Shanahan, (20), from the Ashbrook estate, Ennis Road, disappeared on February 11th, 2000.

While none of the bodies of the three former Dell workers have been located, a fragment of bone found washed up near Bunratty in 2001 was identified in 2018 as belonging to Mr Shanahan.

In an interview with this reporter in 2019 Mr Shanahan’s sister, Grainne, said she and her family were “confident it wasn’t suicide”.

“(Aengus) ended up in the water that night because he was put there,” she said.

Anyone with information can contact Limerick gardai, the Garda Confidential Line (1800-666-111) or the Serious Crime Review Team (01-6663394).

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