For Your Consideration: Mary Boyle – The Untold Story



The full length documentary Mary Boyle: The Untold Story, written and directed by Gemma O’Doherty,  and  broadcast for the first time this evening on RTÉ You Tube.

From top: Mary Boyle’s uncle Gerry Gallagher; Twins Ann and Mary Boyle; Gemma O’Doherty.

Earlier: Staying In Tonight


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121 thoughts on “For Your Consideration: Mary Boyle – The Untold Story

    1. Anne

      + 1

      Did you see Gemma’s tweet there.

      This is the sum of money RTE are attempting to charge me for using 3.5 minutes of old archive material on #MaryBoyle

      That is just shocking. There’s something very sinister going on within RTE.. very fupping sinister altogether.
      I’d say ye have to sue her for it useless shower of muppets.

      1. rory

        I wouldn’t jump to that conclusion straight away. You’d need to know the normal costs for using archive footage.

        1. manolo

          Based on that assumption, RTE should be paying the same for rights to broadcast a movie as the BBC or Sky. I very much doubt it’s the case.

          1. rory

            Not sure what to say about your comment manolo.
            I think the reasonable way to approach this is to check the normal costs before making an assumption.

        2. M

          I approached RTE recently to do research in their archive and they quoted me 300 euros an hour (or something like that). A day was going to be 2,500 or whatever. You’d swear that we didn’t own RTE. Seems to me that such quotes are simply designed so that no independent researcher will ever be able to get access, which, I suspect, is exactly how they like it.

          1. Owen C

            “You’d swear that we didn’t own RTE”

            They’re a commercial operation. This should be fairly obvious.

          2. ALisonT

            Hopefully they are not letting private for profit organisations use their facilities for below cost price, including a portion of fixed costs.

  1. Daisy Chainsaw

    Thirteen grand for 3.5 mins? That’s a Tubs/Miriam/Joe/Ray appearance fee, right?

    1. Anne

      Strange isn’t it…

      They almost seem annoyed about their state sanctioned propaganda reporting of wrongly arrested suspects being re-aired.

      1. The Dude

        1.Thank you Gemma O’Doherty for your continued work, despite having been effictively fired by D O’B owned media for trying to out disgusting rot in once high places.

        2. Regarding RTÉ – they are a total disgrace. I am sick to my teeth of seeing the annual TV / propaganda tax used to lie to us, to keep people uninformed, and to prevent actual talent and truth from breaking through. Ireland is now worse than the East Bloc in the 1980s. It is insidious, costs the same as what water charges were to charge – but has long since been technologically superseded. Hence;

        Can a movement be started – like the water charges movement – to simply boycott the annual payment to RTÉ?

        1. Clampers Outside!

          “Ireland is now worse than the East Bloc in the 1980s.”

          I do love the bang of hyperbole in the morning. I was not aware that a political party owned and ran RTE, and that it took it’s direction from a central propaganda machine…. I do wonder where that is? And why is the Angeles on the airwaves in ‘this’ atheist state of outrage?

          I feel my eyes are opened.

          1. The People's Hero

            Clamps, I’m not one for hyperbole myself, let alone conspiracies…. But knowing what I do about the inner machinations of RTE (a couple of family members high up the food chain), the inner working s of RTE is way, way more insidious than that… It is and for ever will be apparatus of the State… Sure, the odd bone will be thrown to to the dogs (us) but there are – as we know – myriad stories and issues surrounding the corrupt nature of Irish society that will remain forever under cover.

          2. Louis Lefronde

            RTE, what can I say other than its a monument to self-regard, funded by the taxpayer and run by hicks, thicks and pr**ks!

            Public sector sh**e at its worst!

    1. Anne

      There’s no set costs.
      Here –

      a) Guiding Principles for licensing fees of archive material
      The rates in the industry for licensing fees of archive material are market led, and
      based on the following principles:
      (a) The potential size of the audience
      (b) The amount and nature of archive material used. The business operates
      on the basis of a minute minimum as the unit rate. Volume discounts may
      be offered in the industry and some audiovisual archive material may
      attract a premium.
      (c) The licence fee charged is linked to the commercial activity involved in a
      project e.g. a revenue share project such as DVD/fee paying exhibition.

      1. Clampers Outside!

        That’s all standard and normal stuff for charging for footage in fairness.

        There’s no set cost, because there is a charge on how it is used as per the points you made. It’s not being tricky, it’s standard.

        Wouldn’t everyone be giving out if the storage of material was not made up and footage was given away instead of having a revenue stream for the library…… I think they would.
        Just sayin’

        1. Rob_G

          Its possible that they charge you less if you ask them for permission first; like with stock photos and the like.

        2. KitKatClarke

          The National Library have a standard fee for broadcast of their photographs (€30 I think) .

          Doesn’t matter if you’re a big budget American film or a local history DVD (doing 1000 copies)

        3. Anne

          “There’s no set cost, because there is a charge on how it is used as per the points you made. ”

          They’re not points I made Clampers, they’re from the RTE website.

          What I’m saying is there are no set costs and how they decide the fees seem to be pretty arbitrary.

          Also the fees are decided on the potential audience, and any commercial activity involved.. Gemma has hardly profited hugely from the use of these few minutes.

          1. UpInTheAir

            I think she had monetization enabled on the clip and if so she may have been making money from it.
            If she didn’t ask to use the clip from RTE then its basically copyright infringement and I don’t think I would fall under “fair usage”. Check Getty Images and some of the 1 minute news clips are 3000 to 4000 for full usage rights and RTE would be entitled to add a penalty for copyright infringement.

    2. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      As far as I can remember the standard penalty for frottage was getting thrown off the bus / train / escalator, whatever…

      It might be different nowadays.

    3. The Old Boy

      I requested RTÉ archive footage from 1998 a couple of years ago for non-broadcast use. It was a news report of about three minutes’ length. As I recall, it was about €70 plus VAT and the staff were endlessly helpful in getting what I needed. They even managed to find the raw unedited footage from the outside report.

  2. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    RTÉ is in a period of transition, but NOT the one it needs.
    As it begrudgingly drags itself slowly into modernity it loses grip on reality and sinks further into obscurity.

    There WON’T be an RTÉ in 10yrs time…You read it here first.
    I said it.

    1. D'El Boy

      Rubbish. You don’t understand how soviet style institutions work in this domain.
      There’s not gonna be a badatmickies in ten years time though to judge by the sort of lifestyle on evidence here.
      There – I’ve said it.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      Now that Labour have dropped her, has she gone back to her old secretarial job with RNU?

    2. Anne

      She tweets it was broadcast on youtube.. didn’t get a lot of viewers, ergo RTE were ‘justified’ in not airing it.
      I get a headache from peoples’ logic sometimes, I really do.

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        Maybe you could ‘copy / paste’ it and send it to ALL YOUR FRIENDS?
        -Just a suggestion…

        Oh wait, you can’t ‘copy / paste’ videos…I forgot…
        …and you haven’t got any fr

        Seriously though, isn’t it better that it remains in the hands of the makers, and NOT in the vaults of RTÉ?
        – If it’s on YouTube it’s there forever…If it’s on the RTÉ Player thing it’ll be purged in two weeks.

        Retaining independence was and is crucial in this case, I presume.
        -It won’t be the last time we see it.

        I mean, who would make something like this and sell the rights to RTÉ?

        I might be drunk & stoned, but I’m not stupid…I’m mad.

        1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq


          It’s nothing remotely personal ‘Anne’, but when ALL your opinions are borrowed from someone else…when NONE of them are your own…unless you’re battling ‘with someone else’s sword*‘, so to speak….you’ve nothing to say.

          You’re not alone here.
          Many of the ‘all-too-regulars’ love hearing the sound of their own keyboards, and you aren’t the worst offender.
          You are the most boring though.

          *(NO f’nuck, f’nuck for now, thank-you)

    3. rory

      And she’s set her twitter account to private. Perhaps she regrets those tweets. (I only say that because I would regret them.)

      1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

        What is ‘twitter’?
        -It sounds like something that makes you more of a twit…who would want that?

        I checked out Twitter.
        Apparently if you want to appear like a complete twit it’s the perfect platform.

        Sometimes I think I’m too old for this 5hit, seriously.

  3. ciaran

    I’ve a friend who did one of the RTÉ-funded 1916 short films, who had to spend the bulk of their budget on archival footage, therefore having to underpay the actual crew. It’s very much operated in a capitalist fashion (we are the only ones who have the thing you NEED, therefore can set the price) as opposed to making it accessible.

    1. Martina

      Perhaps an FOI request should be submitted on how much they make charging for archival footage. Similar rip off as the academic publishing industry it seems.

    2. edalicious

      I was working on a relatively high budget international release film earlier this year which also got absolutely shafted by RTÉ for archive footage. I think, in the end, they might’ve just gotten archive footage from somewhere else because RTÉ were charging such an unreasonable price. I had presumed that RTÉ were just trying to pull a fast one because of the budget available on the project but it looks like they’re doing it with everyone! All of the RTÉ archives were all digitized a few years back so I’m not sure how they can justify charging that amount.

  4. jeremy kyle

    Might look bad on RTE, but they’re probably in the right legally. Should’ve included the footage of Panti calling John Waters a homophobe, they would’ve paid you that amount to claim ownership.

    1. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

      Nice one RunDemCrew
      ‘Canteen-mentality geebags’ sums up and describes RTÉ perfectly.

      I would if I could but I can’t describe them in less words.
      -Also, I didn’t know you could get away with using words like ‘geebag‘.

      (Am I correct? Can you say ‘Geebag’? I used to think you couldn’t, so obviously, if I thought you c*nt. I will, I will. Geebag..)

  5. Truth in the News

    This documentary puts in the public domain additional information that challenges
    the assertion that the child was abducted, and raises the issue, what initial list
    was drawn up, listing suspects, if it is alleged that there was political interference
    to block a certain line of inquiry, this now has to be investigated, and not by the
    Guards, it now appears that RTE’s credbility is at at stake, and their reporting of
    news items where they rely on police leaks. then the outragous demand for the
    use archive footage, indeed after a number of years this should be available for
    a modest fee, after all we pay the licence fee to maintain the so called Public
    Service Broadcaster in the style they indulged themselves in over the years.
    How come its left to Gemma O’Doherty with meager resources to do what is their
    job, may I suggest that this documentary is made available on DVD as not everyone has high speed access to Youtube…Gemma has done the Nation a
    Service and not for the first time, now its time for the State to do its duty to the
    people, who they are supposed to serve.

    1. The Dude

      Well said.

      But there’s a problem. You said ‘the state’ – but you must understand, that was in the past. These days it is ‘their state’.

      Move along now…

  6. sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq

    Remember when we had only ONE TV channel, (and it was in black and white)?
    -Remember when we got a second TV channel?
    -Remember when we got SuperTV, with lots of channels, but it was rubbish?
    -Remember when we got SKY, etc.
    -Remember when we got the Internet…actually, forget all of it…something else is going to come along and make that look stupid too.

    You don’t remember anything, do you?
    -Too busy watching GoggleBox, a TV program you can watch that’s about people watching TV programs and you can watch them watching them. It’s great. It’s quite popular, because people can relate to it. It has a sedative quality about it.

    Forget all of that.
    Just remember that if it wasn’t for the Imternet this documentary would never have been seen.

    And it serves as a reminder to RTÉ who frequently forget that they DO NOT serve the people who pay their wages.

    1. The Dude

      I like the way you say ‘forget’; that suggests the consistent approach by RTÉ in blocking out major issues is simply inadvertent. I wish I could believe that.

  7. nellyb

    If Gemma O’Doherty gets bullied to pay the sum, it can be easily crowdfunded.
    But sterile minds of RTE are walking the line here. That herd needs a new Sheppard.

  8. moroccan rug dealer

    I am baffled as to why we have a minister for justice in Ireland.You”d end up crushed and going round in circles like Mary’s twin. Wouldnt a normal mother be shouting from the rooftops to find their missing child? Odd behaviour not to co operate.

  9. Turgenev

    Shouldn’t RTE’s older material be handed over to the National Library for conservation, as archive material owned by the state? And shouldn’t material that is of public interest be provided to researchers for free, and to filmmakers and journalists for a small fee commensurate with providing it?

    1. The Dude

      That’s a great idea, but there’s a problem with that as it would give access and control of information affecting the governance of our society to parties other then the hegemony. Couldn’t have that now…

    2. rory

      I’d love an Adam Curtis type person to roam through the footage and construct various narratives.

  10. newsjustin

    I’m no great fan of the RTE but if they didn’t charge for archive material we’d be complaining that they were wasting our resources.

    I suspect the makers knew the fee before they used it and are whinging about it now – having taken the decision to make the doc anyway.

    1. DCG

      It’s a bad sign when you agree that investigations should be made or not made depending on the resources they have available to them.

      1. newsjustin

        That’s not quite what I said. My point is that they made the doc regardless of the cost of the archive material. Good for them and good for us. But maybe they should have flagged this earlier. Clearly they are looking for someonew to foot the bill for it – which is OK, but maybe RTE are still OK to charge for the archive footage.

      2. Rob_G

        The charge is related to broadcasting the footage; one is free to search the archives to your heart’s content, but if you decide to broadcast the footage, that is where they hammer you.

        1. Anne

          What about when you record something on your phone.. and throw it up on youtube.. say about 3 minutes of Apres Match for instance, coz your friends might like it.
          Are you liable to pay RTE for that broadcast of footage?

          1. Anne

            They must be raking it in so, because I can find all the Apres Matches I want on youtube… 12k a pop for 3 minutes.

          2. rotide

            Liable does not mean ‘always going to be caught and paid up’ Anne, but one day you’ll grasp the basics of copyright and IP

    2. Paul

      occasionally archive material can have been duplicated without record in years gone by with the originals (post-duplication) being then handed in to RTE. If the owner of the material hands the rights to RTE then the duplicate cannot be used without the owners (now RTE) permission. It gets muddy if the duplicate holder isn’t aware of the ownership of the original or refuses to recognise that ownership has passed if prior agreements were made with the original owner. These things get contested every now and then.

      If the material was RTE broadcast material from the beginning, that’s a different story.

        1. Paul

          I think they should charge something. If they didn’t then the public would have to fund a new department in RTE solely in charge of digitising material for access as the number of requests would go through the roof.

          It’s not really just plopping a file onto a disc and handing it out that’s involved either. The footage will have to be found first by trawling through old records and other programmes. A huge amount of archive footage is taken from older programs as that footage would have been shot for something else. Finding out what episode of Radharc had a picture of Billy O’Whoever and his green boat in it can take some time. Then the episode has to be digitised, if it hasn’t already, after being repaired, colour graded if the original stock was damaged or aged etc etc etc blah blah blah.

          I fully understand that we fund this already but if additional funding can be procured through charges to keep the place fully staffed and stocked, I’m all for it. Shafting someone for a pile of money for footage for a Youtube video is a load of shit though. It sounds as if RTE slid the scale to suit themselves there.

          1. Anne

            “Shafting someone for a pile of money for footage for a Youtube video is a load of poo though. It sounds as if RTE slid the scale to suit themselves there”


  11. Todd

    Has sǝɯǝɯʇɐpɐq finally gone to sleep? Jeezo!

    So back to the documentary, how did it play out with those of you who have not been following this case? I watched it with my wife for whom it was jaw dropping.

    Thankfully, most of us cannot begin to imagine the pain and horror of this, but the reaction (alone) on Highland Radio in January 2016 of Mrs. Boyle to her daughter’s search for her missing twin sister was, to me at least, remarkable and unusual. The conflicting statements of Mrs. Boyle and her brother (Mary’s uncle) over the years are also noteworthy.

    1. Niamh

      Her uncle was the last person to see her alive. Why doesn’t anybody ever pick up on this? She went into the field with her uncle and did not come out. When it was discovered that she was missing, according to the reports made of the day to the police, her uncle ‘drove off’ somewhere – no reason is given, no further discussion of this.

      Perhaps there is nothing going on here but I have not seen the docu yet: is anything of this nature implied?

          1. Anne

            Strange behaviour from the mother all right. She said she wants it kept quieter.. that she doesn’t understand the need for any publicity. Like, would you not be shouting from the rooftops, if after so many years, your child’s killer wasn’t brought to justice.

            It’s strange behaviour, but I’d say it’s classic behaviour within dysfunction families.. Denial and wanting to keep the secret quiet.

            I’d be interested to know who the person was(who was very close to Mary) who told Margo O’Donnell and Ann Doherty they knew what happened to Mary.

            It seems like everyone in that community knows who the perpetrator is.. and they haven’t been formally questioned. Strange. What politician was involved here also?

          2. Niamh

            OK: I have actually watched the documentary now. It mentions early that the uncle was/is a member of FF.

            Some people are dropping the word Cope in a lot. The years don’t quite add up – this person didn’t enter formal politics until 1979, murder was in 1977 – but this is not an impossible link.

            The mother’s behaviour is difficult to understand without factoring complicity or blackmail in. Of course it could be edited to look this way, but she doesn’t do herself favours with that radio interview.

            The uncle had/has a wife and two children.

            The issue regarding the inquest being put off is baffling. Surely a parent cannot simply veto an inquest like that, legally? That is insane. Children are not the property of their parents.

            I really cannot see how this cover up could possibly be sustained for so long unless there was serious, serious high-up implication in what can only be a paedophile ring. This is the only thing that could continue to justify this level of barefaced corruption in a post-Peace Process, post-Ferns Ireland. The darkness of that is so chilling.

        1. Todd

          “What politician was involved here also?”

          @Anne It’s thought to be a FF councillor. Some people are suggesting that it was a TD. At no time has it ever been alleged that it was a TD who placed the call to the police, requesting that the chief suspect not be questioned.

          1. Niamh

            Why would this particular suspect – the uncle – be protected? Surely he was not a TD/counsellor. Other options I suppose being either the IRA or that he was part of a ring which included counsellors/TDs/guards/IRA etc., or just generally influential people – this seems to be the subtext of the Cooke/Cairns case in Dublin recently.

          2. donthaveanafro

            @Anne Speaking as someone from the community but born nearly a decade later I can assure you it remains a huge mystery and topic of debate and conjecture for all in the locality in the years since but the hope for a conclusion remains. Hopefully work like this documentary will lead to justice before long

  12. rotide

    The usual RTE experts on this thread.

    Go and get some archive footage from the Premiership from Sky and compare the prices.

    TV is expensive. Archive footage reflects this.

    1. Anne

      Why have you ever gotten footage from the Premiership Rotsey?
      You almost sound like.. an expert.

      1. The Dude

        Ah yes, suggest buying a clip from a private company who have paid a massive amount for filming such an event in the first instance – rather than a clip from a supposed public service for which we are annually taxed, and of an occurrences for which there was no premium charge in the first instance.

        Like comparing apples and oranges much?

        Screw RTÈ – at least these days they are seen for what they are.

        1. rotide

          OK Dude,

          Feel free to contact the BBC about their rates. Bear in mind they are fully fuded by the licence fee , unlike RTE.

      1. rotide

        I have a passing knowledge on how broadcast television stations operate. Unlike nearly everyone else commenting on any thread about RTE who seem to think they should be comparable to the BBC on zero public spending.

        1. The Dude

          In fairness you do seem to have some knowledge about the sector alright. Perhaps then you might also be able to enlighten us regarding the following. When everything owned by the state that was possible to sell off in recent years, why has the Irish public heard no suggestion that RTÉ could be sold off?

          By my reckoning, the sale of the brand would possibly be worth between half a billion and a billion euro, the 33 acres in Donnybrook could be used for badly needed new homes – some of which could be social and affordable, and Irish citizens would no longer be obliged to pay an onerous annual tax for an operation that was technologically superseded years ago. It is notable the onerous charge is roughly the same as the water charges.

          You see, I am actually in favour of much of the idea of public broadcasting – but with RTÉ, that is not what we get. For instance, it was on this website last year I was able to get details about how a non-domicile businessman was doing his utmost to censor elected public representatives in parliament from being reported, because at the same time RTÉ were refusing to broadcast what was said – yet allowing the businessman’s spokespeople all over the airwaves. 8 years ago, it was on Sky News that I got the reports about the IMF being in Dublin subsequent to the crash, as this also was being suppressed. Currently in inner city Dublin, there is massive crimewave with also people being shot, in no small part because 3 north side police stations are shut. Yet RTÉ prefer not to ask the local FG TD and minister Paschal Donohue about those stations when interviewing him,

          This typifies why RTÉ are not held highly in my opinion, and that of others. Trying to charge a journalist €13,000 for 3 minutes of footage to be used in a story she asserts was covered-up does not, alas, surprise me.

          So Rotide, you seem to be an intelligent individual with experience in the sector, if possible, please explain why RTÉ should not be sold off, the 33 acres used for housing – and the people freed from an onerous annual tax?

          1. rotide

            please explain why RTÉ should not be sold off

            Because nobody wants to watch TV3.

            To address the rest of your shortsighted and agenda driven drivel, I’ll use this one example:
            For instance, it was on this website last year I was able to get details

            Who was it that went to court to actually fight the injunctions so that websites like this were shielded from the lawers letters?

            RTE and the Irish Times. Broadsheet published and fair play. RTE held off on lawers advice (because thats what grown up business that actually employ people do), went to court and got the whole thing straightened out and then reported on it.

            RTE Cater to a a massive amount of demographics in this country, ask your parents. Ask your friends. Ask the morons here who complain endlessly about them and then go on righteous crusades about the latest primetime subject.

    1. The Dude

      Perhaps – but we are not forced to pay an onerous annual tax to fund their operation.

  13. Todd

    Margo O’Donnell opines that the chief investigating officer in the case “had to play ball” with the politician (FF Councillor?), that it may have been because of “blackmail or something”.

    What could have have been so bad that the chief investigating officer would to not fully/properly investigate the disappearance of a six year old girl, instead acceding to the request of the politician?

    1. Rob_G

      This, for me, is the hardest part of this theory to swallow. I’m sure that there was loads of low-level corruption in the Gardaí – backhanders, blind-eye turned to drink driving, etc – but the murder of a child? Far more likely to be down to incompetence, I would have thought.

    2. Anne

      Who knows.. Pedophiles sometimes have things on each other.. like I don’t know pedophilia.
      They aint called rings for nothing.

  14. Mulder

    RTE, not known as the quote state broadcaster for nothing.
    The mouth piece of the state rather than the nation.

    1. The Dude

      When it’s as rotten as this, it seems reasonably clear that their state is not our nation.

      After watching the film, there’s even more questions one might have re RTÉ.

      It is an excellent documentary, and well done to all responsible – in particular Ms Gemma O’Doherty.

      1. Tony Baloney

        That’s not a real New York Times account. It’s @NewYorkTimesUS, retweets tons of random teweets and doesn’t have a blue tick.

        1. rory

          And only has 700 followers. Can’t believe I missed that. Thanks for pointing that out.

  15. Verbatim

    24242 views! Well done to all concerned, having the courage of your convictions is so admirable. Sad to see how the Mary’s death separated people, you’d think they’d be all pulling in the same direction to find out what happened, but like so many families, the truth can be too painful to live with and denial is easier.

  16. Truth in the News

    We also need to know at what stage of the investigation was Retired Garda Sgt
    Collins prevented or stopped in his inquires, Mr Collins comes across as formidable
    investigating officer, all the documentaion connected with the investigation needs to
    be located and gone through with forensic precision….how come the alleged suspect
    was never formally questioned, yet another individual unconnected was, where is Francis Fitzgerald in all of this, it appears that a certain ruling political class are in denial. This is about the disappearance of a 6 year old child, a twin, no Nation could or will allow after all that has now emerged, tolerate the letheragy that infects certain
    elements to go unheeded……to do so allows the rot to continue.

  17. Truth in the News

    We also need to know at what stage of the investigation was Retired Garda Sgt
    Collins prevented or stopped in his inquires, Mr Collins comes across as formidable investigating officer, all the documentaion connected with the investigation needs to be located and gone through with forensic precision….how come the alleged suspect was never formally questioned, yet another individual unconnected was, where is Francis Fitzgerald in all of this, it appears that a certain ruling political class are in denial. This is about the disappearance of a 6 year old child, a twin, no Nation could or will allow after all that has now emerged, tolerate the letheragy that infects certain elements to go unheeded……to do so allows the rot to continue.

  18. Ivorthorne

    My impression was that the politician was believed that his extended family could not Cope with the publicity.

    Did I misinterpret this?

    1. Todd

      Ah, I see what you did there.
      Like Niamh posted earlier, that particular politician was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 1981 general election. He may have been a councillor in 1977? Perhaps others have more information on that?

  19. moroccan rug dealer

    I am very impressed with retired Inspector Murray and Sgt Collins. Can imagine their frustration over past 40 years trying to progress this investigation and going public was last resort. All other means within “system” failed. I can but pity/admire them. I hope Noirin o Sullivan realizes she needs a sea change. These men of integrity are a credit to An Garda like thousands more that serve. If stopped from top/politically its little wonder morale is rock bottom. Take charge Commissioner! Speak to them and not via 3rd party. Excellent work by Gemma o Doherty. Lets fight for this little child.

  20. Canary

    Jeez I knew politician’s in Ireland were among the most corrupt in Europe but I thought it was just money, beef, planning permissions and the odd speeding ticket they interfered with the proper running of the state and justice. . . . . . . .

    But good Jesus interfering with justice for a little murdered 6 year old girl. Christ he must have been a seriously important councillor or he had something on the sergeant or something very dark indeed.

    That is very disturbing indeed. . . . .

    Someone please fill in the gaps for me.

  21. anna

    Am I just naive? This documentary does not convince me. I have many questions : 1. Mr Collins clearly believes that Mary would not have been able to clamber over the three walls without help. But in 1977 wasn’t he ( Mr Collins) one of the gardai who arranged to have Mary’s sister make the same journey back to the house? I never heard that she (Anne) had any difficulty with the walls. 2. Some time ago, it was reported that in the early days of the investigation, some men who were searching for Mary discovered what looked like a grave and reported it to gardai who never checked it out. I saw a video of Anne Doherty with one of those men. He was pointing out where he remembered seeing the grave. What has become of this story/evidence? There was no reference to it in the documentary. 3. Mr Collins clearly believes that Robert Black could not have been involved in Mary’s disappearance because the area was so remote. But hasn’t it been established that Robert Black targeted remote areas and many of his victims were snatched in quiet country lanes, far from towns and villages. The intense border security did not prevent him from entering Donegal as it has been established that he visited Donegal on more than one occasion. And of course at that time the police did not know of his crimes. 4. I don’t see anything sinister in Mary’s uncle not responding to her mother’s first queries as to Mary’s whereabouts. At that point Mrs Boyle had no reason to believe that Mary had come to harm. She did not come out of the house ‘screaming’, as Mr Collins says she did. Mrs Boyle herself believed that Gerry had not heard her when she first asked about Mary. 5. I am not doubting that the ‘phone call’ was made to Ballyshannon Garda Station. And I fully accept that such interference was wrong. But I do not believe that successive teams of investigating gardai, including the current team, would allow any politician to dictate the course of such a serious investigation. These are just some of the questions, concerns and reservations I have about this documentary. Like so many, I clearly remember those awful days after Mary went missing. It is not surprising that it has had devastating effects on the whole family. I just hope they can find answers and some measure of peace and healing.

  22. Canary


    Honestly I really don’t know and this is just conjecture but like the FBI and MET police often say in these cases the truth is normally closer to home. The obtuse theory is often a rouse.

    Anyway its the thought of successive interference by the political class that you allude to in your point 5 that I find disturbing. If that did happen it was just a sad sad wee banana republic. :(

    Anyway its just all very sad indeed.

  23. anna

    Thanks Canary. Another ‘major’ concern I have with the documentary is the allegation that the Gardai tried to ‘frame’ an innocent man. Ex- detective Collins stresses that this man’s name was never mentioned in the early stages of the investigation. Of course it wasn’t. His ‘activities’ had not come to light back then. While I accept that this man had a sad and difficult life he IS, nevertheless,a convicted child molester. And he lived very close to the scene of Mary’s disappearance. Once his offences became known the Gardai HAD to question him. I find it sinister that the term ‘framed’ is used by Gemma O’Doherty in this context. I’m afraid my confidence in Gemma is shrinking rapidly.

  24. rory

    Hi Anna, interesting points. I think it would be good if you could provide the sources of your info for some of your points. For example point 1, 2 and 4.

    I think Canary makes a fair point about no. 3, though your point is fair enough I think.

    With regard your 4th point, this documentary is presenting the idea that what Mrs. Boyle says is not reliable. So using what she said to validate your 4th point will perhaps not hold sway with some people.

  25. anna

    Thanks Rory. Delighted to acknowledge my own sources and to accept that they, too, may not always be reliable. How often have I wished that I did not have to rely on newspapers and journalists for information! I have followed everything that was in the public domain about this tragic case from day one. Point 1: the story of the re-enactment of what was believed to be Mary’s last journey is related in Barry Cummins’ book about missing people. Some gardai are quoted there. They hoped that Anne, being Mary’s twin, would react more or less as Mary did and give them some lead on what might have happened. I never heard this report contradicted so I assumed it to be true. Point 2 : the story about the ‘grave’ was reported, with photos, in some Sunday newspapers. I think the site might actually have been excavated later. I saw some video clips related to the story. Again, if the story was discredited that was not reported, to my knowledge anyway. Point 3 : this concerns the crimes against children by Robert Black. I got my information from various newspaper reports and some radio/ television reports. Point 4: this deals with the moments when it was first discovered that Mary was missing. I heard Mary’s mother describe how she was asked by her own father to check on the children, how she went out and noticed that Mary was not with the others, how she asked where Mary was and, on hearing that she had not been with them at all, panic immediately set in. It was then that she began to scream and Gerry ran off in the direction of the McCawley house. This seems to me to be not unreasonable given the circumstances. Do any of us know how exactly we would react in a similar situation? There are bound to be inconsistencies and contradictions but to my mindI have never, until now, heard any suggestion that Mrs Boyle’s account of those awful moments might be ‘unreliable’. Finally, Point 5, is self evident. Back in 1977, politicians felt they had a right, even a duty, to interfere in many situations which would be considered totally unacceptable today. It just does not make sense to me that ANY politician, local or national, would still be holding that kind of power over successive teams of investigators.

  26. moroccan rug dealer

    Mary Boyle disappeared at back of grandparents house. You would drive down a narrow country road….so narrow if on coming car you’d have to stop, reverse to make room to pass. And when you got to Gallagher’s you’d turn into an even narrower bohreen to access the house and a dead end into Gallaghers. It tells us Robert Black would have to have parked his car, walked through Gallaghers yard and by chlance found Mary behind the house. ( though children were out playing).

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