Mary Boyle And ‘Political Interference’



Mary Boyle

Mary Boyle was six years old when she vanished on her grandparents’ remote farm near Ballyshannon, Co Donegal on March 18, 1977.

She remains Ireland’s longest missing child case.

But that may be about to change.

Gemma O’Doherty writes:

The twin sister of Mary Boyle will today make a formal statement to Gardai about the identity of the person she believes murdered her sister.

Ann Doherty will claim Mary was killed by somebody known to her. She says she has been frustrated by an Garda Siochana in her efforts to find Mary’s remains and bring her killer to justice.

Ann Doherty will allege that on a number of occasions she was told the identity of the killer by a person close to her, but neither that person nor the suspect have ever been arrested.

In her statement today, Doherty will make a plea to Gardai to arrest the suspect. She will also state that she was informed by a senior Garda that there was political interference in the case, which she believes prevented Mary’s killer from being brought to justice.

The former officer claims that a politician made contact with Gardai in the days after the child’s murder and made an unusual request in an effort to hinder the investigation. This Garda also believes Mary Boyle may have been sexually assaulted before her death, a fear shared by her sister Ann.

The officer has also said that he was told the identity of the killer by somebody close to Mary on a number of occasions.

In another development, the country singer Margo O’Donnell, sister of Daniel, will visit a Dublin Garda station today to make a formal statement about Mary Boyle’s murder.

Margo, a former neighbour and cousin of the Boyle family, has spent many years searching for the little girl’s remains. She claims that on three separate occasions she was told by a person close to Mary the identity of the killer but says every time she has spoken to Gardai about the case, she has been dismissed. She describes the killing as a ‘massive Garda cover-up.’ Broadsheet has seen witness statements relating to the case, which reveal inconsistencies that have never been reconciled.

Ann Doherty believes that if the person she says killed Mary had been properly investigated and questioned by Gardai, they would have confessed to the killing. She is also certain that the individual can still be brought to justice and the remains of her sister found.

Ann believes her sister is buried somewhere on the 180 acres of farmland in Cashelard, Ballyshannon, once owned by her late grandfather Patrick Gallagher. Some of this land is deep swamp. She rejects suggestions by certain Gardai and reporters that Mary was snatched by a stranger, a claim she describes as ‘ridiculous.’

She says through the years she has begged Gardai to take certain actions. She also says they have refused to speak to her and that their only point of contact with the family is her mother, Ann Boyle.

When Ann Doherty sought an inquest in recent years, she was told that this was not possible as Mary may not be dead. A person is considered to be deceased if they have been missing for more than seven years. Mary disappeared 38 years ago.

Ann Doherty wrote to the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald earlier this year requesting a meeting but this request was not been granted. Ann will attend the Gardai today in the company of her solicitor Darragh Mackin of Kevin Winters Solicitors, a human rights law firm based in Belfast.

More as we get it.

Previously: A Corner Of Ireland





78 thoughts on “Mary Boyle And ‘Political Interference’

    1. Clampers Outside!

      It did, and it will unfortunately.

      Who was the politician in this case?

      Bang of similarity – political interference – off of this case to Fr Molloy’s….. are there no rules for TDs interfering in legal procedures?

    1. Blonto

      It will need more than a GSOC investigation.
      There’s too many incidents involving politicians, public figures, gardai etc.
      Look at the Father Molloy murder. And all the other murders/deaths that a few journalists like O’Doherty keep in the public eye, yet haven’t been investigated.
      Nothing is going to change in this country unless public figures etc. start getting jailed for the shit they get up to.

        1. Neilo

          I’d soft pedal the Tory paedophile smear – this is an example of UK-based political policing at its worst. No closer to charges being proffered now than when the story first emerged. In terms of the Mary Boyle murder, I have everything crossed that PIRA/Sinn Fein are involved but we’d never be so lucky, I suppose.

        1. Neilo

          PIRA/Sinn Fein have thrown around plenty of smears – witness Deputy McDonald’s abuse of parliamentary privilege implicating the Ceann Comhairle in financial shady dealings – so they can take it on the chin now.

        1. Neilo

          I prefer cheap shots to the business end of an Armalite anyday, if that’s what you’re getting at. PIRA/Sinn Fein are well-resourced enough and supported enough to take some stick from the likes of little ol’ me.

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Isn’t Robert Black a suspect?
    The 1970s were notorious for serial child-killers. Must have been a nightmare for the family.

    1. Joe cool

      Robert black was interviewed extensively as I recall. Experienced garda said he’d nothing to do with it

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        Fair enough. At least they didn’t pin this on him for convenience.

        Regarding the above article from Gemma Doherty. Isn’t it only right that the Gardaí will only speak to the mother? Is there a conflict of opinion between the mother and the sister here?

  2. Cloud

    There was a time when the police in this country were friends of the church; speeding tickets torn up, drunk driving charges quashed, even a blind eye turned to the odd murder.

  3. Owen

    My money is on Sinn Fein. Not one of the ‘disappeared’, just the pedo ring they have been covering up for years.

    1. Mr. T.

      You’re quite the offensive little Blueshirt Owen. Probably a Young Fine Gaeler, using the tragedies of families to score points for your centre-right ideology.

    2. Owen

      Oh ffs calm down. Why does everyone have to be so sensitive? The article says a politician and sexually abused. Hardly offending people by putting them together and saying Sinn Fein.

      I had to google ‘blueshirt in politics’. I thought I was being called working class.

      1. Willie Banjo

        Why does everyone have to be so sensitive Owen? Eh, it’s the murder of a child and you only care to use it to make petty political attacks. There are other websites for people like you, why don’t you head there.

        1. Owen

          Oh for Christ sake, a political bashing? Really? Get a grip. “The death of a child and a sexual assault occurred in 1977. From the article I suspect we will hear it was Sinn Fein”.

          The only problem you (or anyone) has with that sentence is the party I name, nothing more. Sure look at Mr.T comment below naming other parties. Exact same as mine, just a different party.

          1. Joan Burton

            Well Owen as you love the googling so much a quick bit would have told you the TDs of the day then were FG & FF

            James White (FG)
            Neil Blaney (IFF)
            Paddy Harte (FG)
            Joseph Brennan (FF)
            Hugh Conaghan (FF)
            Clement Coughlan (FF)

            FG = Blue Shirt
            FF= Brown Evelope

          2. Owen

            Thanks Joan. Exact same comment as mine in essence, but with far more clarity and potential finger pointing of not only political parties but actual names. Just like Mr. T below.

            I have clearly struck a nerve noting Sinn Feinn. I am not affiliated with a political party, but am a betting man, and my money is staying on them.

      2. Mr. T.

        Owen. You didn’t have to Google Blueshirt because you know full well who they were.

        And still, there you are using the disappearance of a child for the Sinn Fein bashing. I think you’ll find that the only group in Ireland who continually try to associate Sinn Fein with child abuse are Fine Gael. Nobody else does.

      3. Seriously

        “I had to google ‘blueshirt in politics’. I thought I was being called working class

        sounds like something a blueshirt would say.

        1. Gock:

          How can anyone commenting on BS claim to not know what being a Blueshirt means?

          I don’t know which would be sillier, someone who knows that little feeling they should express a view rather than ask questions, or someone pretending they don’t know what it means.

      4. classter

        Owen, stupid Blueshirt slurs, aside the biggest likelihood (based on politicians in Donegal at the time) is that any such culprit (if indeed there’s any real truth to these allegations) is FF with FG next in line.

        I’m not suggesting that SF never would have done something like that (indeed it seems very clear that they did) but it seems unlikely that they could have done so here.

        1. Demon

          If it’s a politician covering up, surely the implication is that it was a politician *in power*; otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to influence the Gardaí. At the time of this crime, that wasn’t Sinn Féin.

    3. Joe cool

      Many a time I’ve seen stupidity reach levels I’d never thought I’d see. It surprises me every time. Then there’s this guy

  4. Mr. T.

    TDs sitting Donegal-Leitrim during March 1977 (before General Election in June 1977) were:

    Cormac Breslin, Ceann Comhairle (Fianna Fail) died in 1978.
    Joseph Brennan (Fianna Fail) died in 1980.
    James White (Fine Gael) died in 2014.

    1. J

      Broadsheet, considering the delicate nature of this thread, an inference could be made from Mr. T’s comment. It is inappropriate and should be deleted.

      1. Spaghetti Hoop

        How is it inappropriate?
        All I read was that the above are unable to assist the Guards with the case.

      2. Demon

        There’s nothing in the original to say it was a local politician. So who was serving locally is beside the point. It could have been any politician in the country.

        1. Owen

          Bingo… it also does not say it was a politician, more political interference .

          For example, it could be a senior politicians brother…. just as an example.

      3. Mr. T.

        J, trying to censor my are you?

        I’m not implying any of the above was the perpetrator. I’m merely pointing out who was a sitting TD in that area at that time. It was a politician who called the Garda and hindered the investigation.

        Which are you more concerned about, someone’s reputation or the truth about a missing child?

    2. Shockabilly

      could have been a councilor or a senator too perhaps… or someone from a neighboring constituency that had a connection to a suspect or a reason to interfere.

      The past as they say is a different country and I’m old enough to have been a contemporary of hers so I remember a very different Ireland from today, but I never recall an Ireland where a child’s murder (outside institutional care…) would have been brushed under the carpet . Abusing the child, neglect, etc – sure, those could have been dismissed but it’s hard for me to believe that there was a cover up culture to any major extent in this case beyond the actions or one or two individuals – murder was always murder. I’m not saying there wasn’t a cover up – there may well have been but my own view is that even in those days dispensing with a drunk driving charge would have been viewed as worlds away from the cover up of a child’s murder. It would have been viewed as pure evil in those days no more than it would today. I find it hard to conceive of how that conversation could even have happened without people recoiling in horror – I dunno maybe I’m being naive…

      Hopefully her remains will be found and the family will get a degree of closure. May she rest in peace.

      Owen- . Apologise for your stupid accusations or produce evidence.

    3. Amanda Crawford

      Didn’t have to be a TD specifically, there’s a prominent councillor in that area, prominent then & now, and just as a point, the idiot who suggested that SF could be the source of the “political interference” knows nothing about politics in the country in 1960s, Republicans would have been arrested themselves, just BECAUSE they were Republican, de Valera was in full “lock ’em up” mode, so the chances of any SF/Republican being in a position to influence a Gardai investigation are slim to nil!

  5. Maireben

    Well done Margo for continuing to get the truth. We need more people like you in this country. Hope that someone has the balls to stand up to the corrupt top layer and get some answers. RIP Mary Boyle

  6. Mr. T.

    Only in the last few years following a ground surgery done by the Sunday World, Garda took a JCB to the site where the farmers found (days after disappearance) what they believed to be a shallow grave. The JCB work completely destroyed the site in terms of evidence gathering. If you’re carrying out a forensic investigation of a burial site, you don’t dig it up with a JCB, turn the solid over and then compress it back down again.

    Now why would they do that?

  7. Toni The Exotic Dancer

    This will definitely get sorted & I’m sure all parties will be brought to justice.

  8. abcdbirds

    Sadness and Shame of the contents of this article aside (May Mary Boyle find justice), the comments section of the article is very telling re broadsheets readership demographic. Makes me fear for my country after the next election……

  9. Enn

    Look at the person who saw her last, and look at how her mother described his behavior immediately following the little girl’s disappearance.

    ‘I asked him had he seen Mary and he must not have heard me, he didn’t answer’

    ‘Immediately after that [this person] got into his car and drove off fast’

    I am paraphrasing – but those details stick out to me.

  10. Liz

    Story states that the farm was once owned by Mary Boyle’s grandfather, Patrick Gallagher. Must be a lot of men in Donegal with that name. Wonder if any of them ever got involved in politics?

  11. AndrewSB49

    Last year (2014) wasn’t it reported that a 64-year-old man had been questioned [while serving time for indecent assault] about the kidnapping of Mary Boyle. The man was a resident in the Ballyshannon area at the time of Mary’s disappearance.

  12. James connolly

    I believe it would be better to stop badgering each other and wait for the real story to develop. All this “Political; inteference” stuff is just clouding the real issues. Read my story on Facebook, ” The Missing People of Ireland” like it and share to all your friends.
    I have been quitely enquiring into this case for the past 21 years. Who is guilty is not important at this point and time, trial by media or mob rule may let the person responsible for Mary’s death avoid punishment.
    The less said about this the better. A few prayers for a good outcome to this sad debacle would not go astray.

    1. Continuity Jay-Z

      You seem to know more that you are letting on.. Perhaps someone should be asking you a few pointed questions? Your posts reads like one that wants the case swept under the carpet…

      A very strange and unsettling post it has to be said.

    2. Casey

      Who is guilty is not important at this point and time

      I think just about everyone reading about the story and all those directly involved would disagree…

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