Solicitor Darragh Mackin, Margo O’Donnell, Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Mary Boyle’s sister Ann Doherty in Government Buildings last November
Mary Boyle’s twin sister Ann Doherty is travelling to Washington this morning for a series of meetings with Irish-American politicians, lobby groups and organisations – to speak about the 1977 disappearance of Mary in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal.
During the visit, Ms Doherty is expected to call for the resignation of Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald and Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan.
Journalist Gemma O’Doherty, who will travel with Ms Doherty, writes:
The visit is the latest step in Ann Doherty’s battle for justice for her six-year-old sister, which has taken her to the parliaments of Stormont, Brussels and Westminster.
Ms Doherty will inform members of the United States Congress that Mary’s killer is being shielded by An Garda Siochana and that a politicians interfered in the investigation shortly after the murder, ordering that certain people were not to be considered suspects.
During their visit to Washington, they will visit Capitol Hill to meet US congressman Brendan Boyle whose father comes from Donegal, former Congressman and lawyer Bruce Morrison, best known for his work on the Irish peace process and immigration reform, and other members of the House of Representatives.
They will also attend a number of St Patrick’s Day engagements and meet the Taoiseach, Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness and the Irish ambassador Anne Anderson.
They will brief the Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and the Ireland Fund about the case, as well as a number of organisations lobbying on justice issues.
‘The key purpose of this trip is to open Irish-America’s eyes and the US authorities to the wide scale corruption in the Irish police and the criminal justice system,’ said Ann Doherty.
‘There are many horrific cases of cover-up by the gardaí in the Republic that Irish-Americans and anyone who cares about Ireland need to know about. The police have protected my sister’s killer for almost 40 years.
‘For most of my adult life, I have known who murdered Mary. He is walking around Donegal today, immune from prosecution. Instead of arresting him, the gardai have targeted me, and others who have stood up for Mary’s right to justice, in what can only be called an insidious campaign of intimidation.’
Ann Doherty met Enda Kenny in November 2015 but says the situation has deteriorated further since their meeting and she feels let down by him.
Mr Kenny was given information about the murder in 2011, which he admitted recently in Dail Eireann that he passed to the gardai but failed to follow up.
In December, Ann asked An Garda Siochana for a search of a location in Donegal where she believes Mary’s remains may be.Her request has been ignored. She has also been denied the right to an inquest into her late sister’s death.
‘The gardaí have sufficient evidence to bring her killer to justice, but to do so will reveal a sordid cover-up by police and politicians,’ said Ann.
‘No country can call itself a democracy when its police force perpetuates the cover-up of a child’s rape and murder. That is why the rest of the world must know about Ireland’s record when it comes to policing, justice and protecting its children.’