Have I Found Mary’s Grave?



Ann Doherty holding a childhood image of, from left, her twin Mary Boyle, brother Patrick and Ann

A new development in the three decade plus Mary Boyle mystery.

Gemma O’Doherty writes:

The twin sister of Mary Boyle has identified a new location in Donegal where she suspects the murdered schoolgirl may have been buried. The site has never been searched.

Ann Doherty has written to the Garda Commissoner Noirin O’Sullivan requesting the area be sealed off as a matter of urgency and forensically examined by a team of experts.

She has also asked the Taoiseach to intervene in the matter given her concerns about a garda cover-up in the case.

Mary Boyle vanished in March 1977 at her grandparents’ home in Cashelard, Ballyshannon. Her remains have never been found.

In the days after her disappearance, a politician telephoned Ballyshannon Station and requested that certain people were not to be considered suspects. This claim has been verified by a number of retired senior officers who were working on the case at the time.

Ms Doherty has requested the new search on foot of evidence given to her in recent days, which supports her belief that Mary was murdered by someone known to her.

The information has been provided by a number of individuals who witnessed unusual events in the aftermath of Mary’s death and also in recent times.

Several officers support Ms Doherty’s belief that her sister’s body may have been brought to the location she is now pinpointing.

Ms Doherty has also demanded that any garda search is supervised by independent experts and her legal team. Almost three months ago, she made a statement to officers in Dublin’s Pearse Street Station identifying the person she believes killed Mary.

That individual has to yet to be arrested.

Ms Doherty’s lawyer Darragh Mackin will also seek the assistance and expertise of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR), the north-south body set up to trace the remains of victims of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Ms Doherty hopes that this organisation will broaden its remit for her given her struggle for justice, allegations of a state cover-up in her sister’s murder, and the fact that Mary disappeared just four miles from the border with the North.

Speaking today, she said:

‘I have very strong reason to suspect that Mary’s body may have been buried in this new location temporarily or that her remains are still there. I want a search to take place in the coming days without any delay and I have informed the Garda Commissioner of this. The gardai have utterly failed my sister and me.

I am certain that Mary was brutally assaulted and killed by someone who knew her. That person is still walking around Donegal, a danger to all citizens, especially children.

I will carry out my own search if I have to but I am pleading with the gardai to finally do the right thing and bring Mary’s killer to justice. I am asking them to look into their own children’s eyes and imagine how they would feel if one of them was violently murdered and the killer was protected for almost four decades.

Nothing will stop me from finding Mary’s remains and giving her the decent burial she deserves.”

Meanwhile, the singer Margaret ‘Margo’ O’Donnell, a cousin of Mary Boyle, has criticised the gardai for their failure to arrest the chief suspect.

She attended Pearse St Station with Ann Doherty in October to make a statement identifying the person they believe is the killer. They also informed gardai that a person known to Mary told them on several occasions who killed the child.

Last night, Margo spoke by telephone to Enda Kenny once again about the murder, expressing her concerns that the chief suspect has not yet been arrested.

He said he would contact the gardai this morning to ask them why there is a delay in questioning this individual.

After his meeting with Ann and Margo in November, Mr Kenny wrote a report to the gardai and the Donegal coroner Dr Denis McCauley outlining what he was told about the murder by Ms O’Donnell and Ms Doherty during a recent meeting in Government buildings and expressing their wishes for an arrest.

However, Margo says she is deeply disturbed by a phone call she received from an officer yesterday stating that the case has been handed back to the north-west region.

‘I am deeply saddened that the cover-up of this child’s murder seems to be continuing to this day. What sort of a country do we live in where a six-year-old is brutally assaulted and murdered and the gardai and justice system turn their back on her and protect the monster who killed her?

“This case has to be taken out of Donegal where it has been covered up for almost 40 years. When the public are told the full truth about the lengths we have gone to to try and find Mary and get the perpetrator brought to justice, they will be horrified. And they will be told all about it one day soon.”

Ms Doherty and Ms O’Donnell will meet the Donegal coroner tomorrow with solicitor Darragh Mackin to urge him to hold an inquest into Mary’s death.

In a separate development, it has also emerged that a man who was arrested last year for the disappearance of Mary is considering an action against the state for unlawful arrest.

Brian McMahon was taken into garda custody in 2014 and questioned about the case despite a lack of evidence linking him to the crime. The DPP informed officers in recent weeks that she would not be pursuing charges against him.

Mr McMahon said he was shocked when his name was linked to the case and believes there has been an attempt to frame him for the murder of Mary Boyle.

He also says he cannot understand why the gardai have not informed the press about the DPP’s recent vindication of him especially since reporters were tipped off at the time of his arrest and there was widespread coverage of it.

Previously: Mary Boyle case on Broadsheet

(Rollingnews/ Sunday Times)

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28 thoughts on “Have I Found Mary’s Grave?

  1. Tish Mahorey

    Clearly very many people know who did this and all the police and the state have done to is to actively protect the killer.

    Sometimes it feels like we live in North Korea under a government which has nothing for distain and hatred for the citizens.

    Cover ups, denials, no investigations, active obstruction of justice and yet the thick unts will still vote ‘their man’ back in for what they might get out if it in the short term.

    1. Paddy obrien

      Everything I’ve read here appears to be heresay. Someone has a hunch, someone told someone somthing. We think think we know where she is buried although we’ve got no evidence, I think this lady needs good advice from someone that has her interests at heart not just someone who wants sail on a sea of emotion and not ask hard questions. This lady is traumatised and she needs to confide in a real friend who will tell her straight what is and isn’t. When people who are traumitised are being given advice its vital that that adviser be upfront with them and tell them the hard truth and not what they think they should be told

  2. ollie

    Those who cover up crimes such as this are doing t to save their own skin. Child abuse wasn’t confined to priests, I reckon there are a few politicians, judges and senior Garda with more than a vested interest in this case.

  3. Spaghetti Hoop

    Nothwithstanding the awful journey Ms Doherty has gone through – she’s arrived at a breakthrough. Guards should order the dig now.

  4. DubLoony

    I thought the political interference in Garda matters was frowned upon?
    Is the Garda Ombudsman involved if there is an allegation of cover up?

    After 40 years of desperation and determination, I hope they start digging.

  5. Anne

    Nice to know there’s a child rapist/murderer still traipsing around Donegal.. and fupp all being done about it.

    Terrible that the guards haven’t even questioned this person.
    The family are showing a lot of restraint.

    1. Panty Christ

      No political party either has used it as a football to name and shame a rival. Most peculiar. Every politician and journalist knows the names of those involved by now surely.

      1. Peter O'Neill

        If she was a victim from a different part of Ireland, you can bet your bottom dollar our politicians and media would be jumping up and down on this one; instead Enda says he’ll do something about it which is to send the file back to the North-West region from whence it came and not a mention of digging. Ireland certainly has one very big carpet.

          1. Anne

            I recall from an abnormal psych class in college, that most pedophiles who murder the children they’ve raped aren’t by nature murderers.. they murder to cover their tracks, particularly if a child seems like the type to tell someone.

            What’s a few grubby euro, when you’re going to those lengths to cover up your perversions and there’s plenty of greedy little gombeens who don’t have a modium of conscience in this little backwards country of ours who’ll take your few wads of cash to cover up for you.

            6 years old was she?

    2. Bob

      That would pretty much destroy any chance of a conviction, I’d say. And the person named would likely sue the family and probably win, since they’d need conclusive proof of his guilt.

  6. James Connolly

    I have been involved in trying to lift this case for the last 20 years. Each time I visited Donegal and got important information in this case it was always dampened down by a story which emanated from ” Garda sources2, the first one which revolved around the same Gardai, Then in Sept 2014 I went to Sligo to give information to Cold Case Team and I asked to speak to the Mary Boyle team and the garda on duty there told me he had no idea who this Mary Boyle person was. The next day, the Assistant Commissioner appeared in full regalia outside Mullingar Garda Station to announce that they were about to charge a man with kidnapping and abducting Mary Boyle. Two days later this man was released and the following week he made a statement to The Sunday World ” them bastards tried to frame me” After much toing and froing I was eventually referred to the Gardai in Cavan. and by arrangement I agreed to meet them at my local Garda Station where I made a 7 page statement outlining the involvement of 3 highranking Gardai who may have been involved in a possible case of perverting the course of justice in the Mary Boyle case.This statement was given to Inspector James O Reilly on 28th January 2015 and have heard nothing since. In a bid to get this story to the Press, I approached a number of Newspapers : Irish Times, Sunday world,Donegal Democrat and others. Not one of them would touch the story. Not even the Gardai would talk, strange

      1. Sam

        The Ireland of old has receeded to the background, but not faded away. We have but a thin veneer of civilised democracy in the foreground.
        We never finished off the job of ripping out the old rotten structures that Ireland was built on.

        1. meadowlark

          Someone told me the other day that we here in Ireland have one of the least corrupt places in the world.

          Oh how I laughed.

  7. Charles Holley

    Somebody should set up an anonymous Twitter or Facebook account and put the name out there, and tag all the relevant journalists, politicians and movers in the case. The recent revelations are shocking.

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