Tragic | 

Inquest into death of missing woman Bernadette Connolly opens in Blackpool

The body of the missing Dubliner was found on a beach in the English town in February.

Bernadette Connolly (An Garda Siochana/AP)

Clodagh Meaney

An inquest into the death of missing woman Bernadette Connolly opened in Blackpool today.

The body of the missing woman was located on a beach in Blackpool and identified to be that of Bernadette’s on March 3rd after her daughter Jade provided a DNA sample.

Jade Connolly appeared via video link at the inquest which opened at Blackpool Town Hall on Thursday.

"Efforts had been ongoing in terms of the identity of the person who had been found but it had always been believed that it was Miss Connolly," Senior Coroner Alan Wilson said.

"On January 7 your mother had gone missing near Donabate Beach in Dublin.”

"In due course efforts were made to establish the identity of the person and it was by way of DNA analysis assisted I think by yourself.”

“Positive identification was confirmed on March 3."

"We were then in a position to release your mother to the family for the funeral,” he added.

It was revealed that an autopsy of the mother of one was unable to establish a medical cause of death.

A full inquest is scheduled to take place in Blackpool on July 12th 2022.

Taking to Instagram on March 3rd, Jade Connolly confirmed that news that her mother was found on a beach in Blackpool, UK.

“I write this message with a heavy heart,” she began.

“My family and I have received tragic news that a woman’s body was recovered from a beach in Blackpool UK and its confirmed to be my beloved mam Bernadette Connolly.

“We will always remember her smile, strong character and love. Mam and I have had 30 years together, for that I am grateful, and our memories will live forever.”

"This experience has been incredibly difficult for us and we couldn't have done it alone.”

"From day one my family and I received so much unconditional and tireless support across the “nation and worldwide, for which we can’t express enough gratitude.

“This is a tragedy no family should have to bear, so we ask please that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving.”

Bernadette was last seen when she was dropped by taxi at the carpark of the Shoreline Hotel in Donabate and walking towards the entrance to Donabate Beach.

The last known activity of the mum of one was when took a photograph on her mobile phone of Malahide Bay from the end of Donabate Beach at 12.38pm.

A picture of Bernadette posted by her daughter Jade

Bernadette’s black coat and handbag, which contained her phone, were later found on the beach.

Her funeral mass took place on March 9th at St Cronan’s church in Swords.

Celebrant Father Paul paid tribute to Jade for her strength and determination to find her missing mother.

“It’s been very tough but one of the extraordinary things [over the last couple of months] has been the extraordinary strength of Jade, and how she never gave up and how the support of her family helped her to be able to follow every shred of hope that was there she kept on going and kept on being positive.”

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