Tag Archives: mary boyle


The full length, independently-made and financed documentary ‘Mary Boyle: The Untold Story’ by Gemma O’Doherty will premiere tonight on You Tube at 9.20pm.

Mary Boyle: The Untold Story investigates Ireland’s longest missing child case and alleges political interference in the original Garda probe.

Previously: Mary’s Untold Story

Mary Boyle on Broadsheet


From top: Mary Boyle; Ann Doherty 

Ann Doherty has today launched the first stage in a legal action against Ireland, the Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald and the Donegal Coroner for their refusal to hold an inquest into the death of her identical twin sister Mary Boyle.

The six-year-old girl vanished on her grandparents’ remote farm in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal in March 1977. She is Ireland’s longest and youngest missing person.

Her uncle Gerry Gallagher was the last person known to be with her.

Ann’s legal action has been taken on the grounds that the coroner Dr Denis McCauley has recently informed her lawyers that it is not his intention to hold an inquest.

The coroner has told them that an inquest would have an adverse effect on Mary Boyle’s mother Ann Boyle. He has also stated that An Garda Siochana would adjourn an inquest should one be convened.

Ann Doherty will challenge the decision on the grounds that Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights – the right to a thorough, effective investigation – has been breached.

She will argue that new evidence has come to light about her sister’s disappearance in a forthcoming documentary to be broadcast shorted called ‘Mary Boyle – The Untold Story’.

As part of this evidence, a number of ex-garda officers have alleged that there was a political interference in the initial investigation. They allege that there was a direct intervention by a politician who ordered that the chief suspect not be arrested.

Ann Doherty’s legal team will argue that this and other evidence has caused widespread public suspicion, rumour and speculation both in Donegal and throughout Ireland, and that an inquest should be held in an attempt to assuage that concern.

Further evidence has also emerged in the documentary, which had already been in the possession of the gardai, regarding information Mary’s mother had about her disappearance.

During a meeting with Ann Doherty and her lawyer Darragh Mackin in December 2015, the coroner stated that he had attempted to contact Mary Boyle’s mother Ann Boyle on at least four separate occasions regarding the holding of an inquest but had been unable to do so.

Ann Doherty has asked that an inquest be convened so that her twin sister can be officially declared deceased.

Ann contends that the coroner’s decision not to hold an inquest is unlawful and that the reasoning for same is entirely unreasonable and disproportionate.

She claims there is a substantive breach of Article 2 of the European Commission on Human Rights which obliges the state to carry out an effective and independent investigation when someone dies in suspicious circumstances.

She also claims that a delay of 40 years in opening an inquest is an irrational and disproportionate breach of Article 2 and that her constitutional right to the truth and justice has been denied.

Darragh Mackin of KRW Law has confirmed that an application will be made to the High Court in the coming days for a judicial review of the coroner’s decision.

‘Mary Boyle – The Untold Story’ will be broadcast shortly.

A statement from Families for Justice.

Mary Boyle on Broadsheet

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 17.38.45

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/263927803″ params=”color=ff5500″ width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

You may recall the trailer for Gemma O’Doherty’s forthcoming documentary Mary Boyle: The Untold Story.

The trailer featured Bryan McMahon who was arrested and questioned for the disappearance of Mary Boyle.

The questioning occurred while he was serving a two-year sentence in Portlaoise Prison for the sexual assault of a young boy and for the indecent assault of the boy’s brother.

Last Friday Mr McMahon spoke on Ocean FM’s show North West Today – which was presented by Niall Delaney – about how he came to be a suspect in Mary’s disappearance.

Journalist Gemma O’Doherty also took part in the interview.

Niall Delaney: “Can we got back to, it was last year? You were arrested?”

Bryan McMahon: “2014.”

Delaney: “2014, sorry, two years ago, what happened exactly Bryan?”

McMahon: “Yeah, I was serving time, two years in fact, in Portlaoise for indecent assaults levelled against me by a member of the Garda Síochána and his brother. They levelled the charges against me, however…”

Delaney: “You were convicted in that case?”

McMahon: “I was..”

Delaney: “You were sentenced to two years I think.”

McMahon: “Convicted and sentences to two years with a year and a half for remission. And the gardaí arrived, I thought, you know, all I had to do now was just do my sentence, regardless of whether I fought my case or not. You know, I wasn’t able to fight my case with regards to the indecent assault because I wasn’t able I was just completely stressed out and weak, too weak. I was disappointed by the fact that the barrister and my solicitor said that the DPP, I pleaded not guilty to the first case and the second case, they said they want, now they want a guilty plea and I wasn’t able. I wasn’t able to pull myself together.”

Delaney: “OK.”

McMahon: “You know, however, the gardaí, however, arrived in January 2014…”

Delaney: “And you’d just been released from prison at this stage, is that right?”

McMahon: “No, I was still in…”

Delaney: “You were still in…”

McMahon: “I was still in prison, that’s right and they said that they wanted to interview me in relation to the disappearance of Mary Boyle, from her home. And I just thought, you know, that they just wanted to eliminate me from the enquiries and I thought nothing more about it. And how and ever, they came back again in July of that year and they said that they discovered that there was a lot of inconsistencies in my statement. Sure I didn’t actually make a statement at all. All they were doing was piecing together where I was and so forth. And these inconsistencies, one included the fact that they weren’t able to find out, through records in Finner Camp (?) as to where I was on that particular day but I explained very clearly to them that I was partial to the drop and that I was incapable of going out on any search.”

Delaney: “OK, well let’s put this in context. You were in, a member of the Irish Army, based in Finner Camp, near Ballyshannon, around that time, back in 1977.”

McMahon: “That’s right.”

Delaney: “Ok, so, when you were first questioned about Mary Boyle’s disappearance, obviously, you were surprised but you weren’t surprised because there was a Ballyshannon connection, isn’t that right?”

McMahon: “That’s right, it didn’t surprise me at all at least because I knew that everybody who had that connection with that area would be inevitably interviewed, you know, to…”

Delaney: “So there were inconsistencies they say, even though you say you didn’t give a statement but there were inconsistencies in your story.”

McMahon: “That’s right, yeah, that’s right.”

Delaney: “In what way?”

McMahon: “Well I think they only just said that as, you know, as a matter of fact, you know, I don’t think there was any, there was no grounds behind it, you know, because I know for a fact, it was just a few little pieces of information that I provided to them.”

Delaney: “Yeah.”

McMahon: “And then they said then that the Irish Army’s records stated that I was on annual leave but, in actual fact, I wasn’t on annual leave, I was on what was called a week’s patrol leave, where you do a week’s patrol on the border or for another other call, you could be called out for any other reasons, prison escorts which were on the agenda at the time. This patrol leave meant that I was on a week’s patrol and I was then off for a week’s patrol and when you’re off on a week’s patrol, when you’re off, as it were, you were free from duties but, nonetheless, you were still on standby in the event of something taking place.”

Delaney: “Ok and do you remember Mary Boyle’s disappearance and that incident? Is it clear in your memory?”

McMahon: “Oh it is of course, it’s very clear in my memory, yeah.”

Delaney: “Did you know the Boyle family? You knew…”

McMahon: “No, I didn’t know the Boyle family. I didn’t know the Boyle family who lived, Charlie, I believe was her father’s name, who lived down in some part of the lower end of Donegal. I only knew her mother who lived in Cashelard.”

Delaney: “OK.”

McMahon: “And her mother’s brothers and sisters.”

Delaney: “OK, so in July 2014, you were arrested, is that right?”

McMahon: “I wasn’t arrested then until October…”

Delaney: “October.”

McMahon: “2014.”

Delaney: “And the gardaí weren’t happy with aspects of your story so you were arrested – tell us about that.”

McMahon: “They arrived at the prison early in the morning and they wavered a document and they informed me that I was now being arrested under such and such an act, in relation to the kidnapping and disappearance of Mary Boyle from her home and at that very moment I thought I was just going to have a complete breakdown. And I just turned around and said to the prison officer in charge of that particular duty, I said to him, ‘no’, says I, ‘that’s not true’. I said, ‘I didn’t have anything whatsoever to do with her disappearance’ and I didn’t turn to the guards to say it because I had an inclination that something was amiss here, something wasn’t right. And then they said they were taking me to Mullingar, or the prison officers said, ‘you’re being taken to Mullingar for questioning’. Now I was very disappointed about that fact because I believed they shouldn’t have sent me with these three detectives to Mullingar, they should have provided me with a prison escort.”

Delaney: “OK.”

McMahon: “To and fro from Mullingar.”

Delaney: “You were quite upset by this?”

McMahon: “I was very, very upset, I actually thought I’d never recover from it and I was very, very unwell the whole way up to Mullingar.”

Delaney: “Yeah.”

McMahon: “And they just took this all very, very lightly of course, you know, and kind of, more or less, told me to pull myself together.”

Delaney: “And were you very worried?”

McMahon: “I was very, very worried, I was very worried because I said, ‘this is the last straw in my life’. I said, you know, I said, ‘I’ll never recover from this, I said the whole world, I thought in my own mind, would turn completely against me. Now I’m being convicted of killing a child, an innocent six-year-old child. So however, anyway, we arrived at the Mullingar Garda Station and they tried to contact a solicitor that I nominated and that solicitor wasn’t available, that solicitor actually was out on holidays abroad somewhere. And then it was up to them to nominate a solicitor from the local area in Mullingar, to which they did. And I was very satisfied with her. Except for one matter that I was questioned was she, she brought the two detectives who were interviewing me in the interrogation room out into a corridor. Now I was very disappointed about that, that this was done underhanded, I should have been informed of what that represented but she didn’t.”

Delaney: “You spent 48 hours in custody Bryan, is that right?”

McMahon: “That’s right, yeah. And, furthermore, on that evening, when they retired from questioning me, the doctor was called in and I suffer from a chronic ailment and I’m on medication constantly for this ailment and the doctor came in and, lo and behold, he forgot the medication. I thought that was an absolute disgrace because I thought it was another method of weakening me, my whole system down, I was weak enough as it were, as it were, you know.”

Delaney: “OK, well obviously, there was that Ballyshannon connection but was there a direct link do you think or was part of the reason your arrest the fact that you did serve time in prison for indecent assault.”

McMahon: “This would be the case, no doubt, that these people that levelled these allegations against me, that that was partially the connection but I don’t think so, I think this was only just an excuse.”

Delaney: “You still have, well I’ll come back to you about the Mary Boyle case in a moment, I want to bring Gemma O’Doherty in, whom we spoke to earlier in the week. Gemma, good morning to you again.”

Gemma O’Doherty: “Good morning, Niall.”

Delaney: “Thanks for joining us. You’ve interviewed Bryan as part of your documentary which will be aired shortly, we were watching the trailer about it. What do you make of Bryan’s arrest and his detention and questioning?”

O’Doherty: “Well there are so many aspects of this case that have shocked me since I took it on about a year and a half ago but probably Bryan’s whole involvement in it is one of the most disturbing aspects because we are looking at the appalling vista of a citizen being framed by our police force for the murder of a six-year-old child. I’ve got to know Bryan McMahon and what he hasn’t told you about is how in the early days of his childhood, as a young boy, he was put into a foster home in Cashelard where he was physically abused by a woman who has been deemed unsuitable to look after children and as a result of that and other care, well so-called care, that he received at the hands of this State, he received a compensation from the Redress Board. Bryan was a very vulnerable citizen, having endured that abuse, how he has come out the other end of it, I do not know, but he has, and he’s got on with his life. And another very shocking aspect of this is the fact that the chief suspect in this case, the man that Ann Doherty, Mary’s identical twin, believes is responsible for her sister’s rape and murder has never been arrested by An Garda Siochana and this is the person that senior officers, who were the first on the scene, believe was responsible, why has that man, never to this day been arrested and why has another individual who had absolutely nothing to do with the child’s murder been arrested? These are all questions the public have a right to know about.”

Delaney: “Bryan, you had a difficult past, as Gemma pointed out, you…”

McMahon: “Well it was difficult but now, when I realise that the terrible suffering that Mary Boyle endured, apparently in the last moments of her tender life, it makes me feel very wimpish to start complaining about the journey that I went on, you know? It was my journey, I suppose, in comparison to Mary’s, was very piecemeal, I would imagine.”

Delaney: “Why are you still interested in the Mary Boyle case. A lot of people who would have undergone the experience that you had to go through would say, ‘well, that’s the end of that. I don’t want to ever hear about that case again. I don’t want to be involved. I’ve been questioned, I wasn’t charged, it’s just a bad memory in my mind’. Why do you still, why are you still interested in the Boyle case?”

McMahon: “Yeah because I’m the very man now who’s the number one suspect in this case.”

Delaney: “Do you still think you’re the number one suspect?”

McMahon: “Oh I am without a doubt. Well, for example, the other day, the gardai arrived at my door, they were there in the morning but I didn’t make it out to the door on time because there’s no bell on the door and they requested a DNA sample from me. I got a shock when I heard that because I knew that this was not right and even, because, for the simple reason being there was a DNA sample taken from me in the interrogation room in Mullingar and I’m not sure that the man who took the sample was qualified to do so. He was one of the detectives involved in the investigation and, you know, whilst I recorded all this stuff but I was unable to speak out, my mind about it, in relation to that and then these detectives on the 9th or 10th of May there past, it was afterwards then they provided me with a document in relation to that sample.”

Delaney: “Some will say they’re doing their job, they’re trying to get to the bottom of this very disturbing case. A young girl went missing, has been missing since 1977.”

McMahon: “Yeah, they may be doing their job certainly but I’m the man that’s still in the forefront of their mind and I’m very disappointed at this point in time that two years have elapsed and the Garda Commissioner has never come into the scene on this matter. Now I would hope that the Garda Commissioner would now, sooner than later, come in, in other words, if you like, to rescue me.”

Delaney: “That’s the way you see it: you need rescuing?”

McMahon: “That’s how I see it Niall and there’s no other way around it. And when I arrived back that evening, from Mullingar, the 48 hours interrogation, the doctor, Dr McFadden was very, very concerned for my well being and brought me in immediately, requested that the prison officers bring me in immediately, very early in the morning which is unheard of in the prison and ask me if I was OK. And she also told me, she said, ‘Well Bryan, you know, I have been in contact with a friend of mine who has a connection, who has a connection with Charlie Doherty, or Charlie Boyle, and they had said that Bryan McMahon is no way involved in this whatsoever. And she says you can be reassured on that matter, Bryan.”


Delaney: “Bryan, I mentioned earlier, in the early 1980s, you were, you ran this amusement arcade in Sligo, isn’t that right? Called the Jam Pot which many people will remember.”

McMahon: “That’s true, Niall, that’s true and it was at that point in time, in fact, that I was recovering from alcohol for years of alcohol abuse. I just got as it were, an inner knowing with regard to my dilemma and I just stopped drinking there and then and I went to Alcoholics Anonymous for quite a number of years and I got great support there and met a lot of friends there. But still, and I must say, truthfully, that my personality was very badly distorted, you know, from the formative years of my life, I carried that with me to this day, I can’t change the person who I’ve become my personality, until the day I die, will always be…”

Delaney: “And was that you think part of the reason why you ended up in court for indecent assault of two young boys?”

McMahon: “That I’d say, no, I’d imagine, I would imagine that this whole set-up was starting to build up a momentum and I believe that it started after I received that sum from the Redress Board. Because it’s very, very ironic that shortly after I received the money, two gardai arrived on my door and informed me that I was being arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.”

Previously: Mary Boyle’s Untold Story

From left: Margo O’Donnell, Ann Doherty, Mary Boyle’s twin sister and Gemma O’Doherty before meeting Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin last month

Ahead of a forthcoming  independent documentary on Ireland’s longest missing child case.

Ann, Margo and Gemma urged Martin to initiate a Dáil debate on the serious allegations about the Garda handling of the case, and to support their call for an inquest into Mary’s death.

A Fianna Fáil spokesman said after that “All of the claims made to Deputy Martin have been forwarded to An Garda Síochána and the Garda Ombudsman”, despite the fact the women have no faith in either of these organisations…

Margo said to me after the meeting: “We would have got nowhere with this if it wasn’t for Gemma. She’s the only one who looked at this and saw there is a case to answer here, for justice for that wee girl.”

….The establishment does not like Gemma O’Doherty.

Her former employer, the Irish Independent, made her compulsorily redundant in August 2013. This happened in the aftermath of her investigation into the Garda wiping of penalty points brought her to the front door of the home of former Garda commissioner Martin Callinan.

Editor in chief at Independent News and Media, Stephen Rae, called her a “rogue reporter”. She was made redundant a few weeks later.

Her investigative instincts appear to have been vindicated, however, and Callinan retired in March 2014 because, he said, “recent developments were proving to be a distraction from from the important work that is carried out by An Garda Síochána”.

Gemma received an abject apology at the resolution of her defamation suit against Independent News & Media in January last year. The organisation and Rae acknowledged “the exceptional work of multi-award winning investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty” and accepted she had “acted at all times in a professional and diligent manner”.

I have heard political advisers say of her: “She just won’t let it go.” In other words, she’s not easily fobbed off.

What she sees in the Mary Boyle case is political interference in a Garda investigation into the death of a child, and she just won’t let it go.

…It’s time to stop fobbing her off. It’s time a “wee girl” called Mary Boyle got justice.

Mary Boyle’s disappearance and the 40-year fob-off (Kitty Holland, irish Times)

Previously: Mary Boyle case on broadsheet

This morning.

Mary Boyle’s sister Ann Doherty (centre) with friend Margo O’Donnell and journalist Gemma O’Doherty  on their way to meet Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin to discuss Garda allegations that a Fianna Fáil politician interfered in the Garda investigation into Mary’s disappearance.

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

Previously: Mary Boyle’s Untold Story

Pic: Gemma

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 11.09.48

The trailer for a forthcoming documentary, Mary Boyle: The Untold Story, written and directed by investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty, about the disappearance of Mary Boyle in Donegal in March, 1977.

It includes interviews with retired sergeant Martin Collins and former detective inspector Aidan Murray (top) who recall a phone call made by a politician to gardaí, during the investigation into Mary’s disappearance, and how the phone call led to certain people not being arrested or questioned.

Mr Murray remembers how, during one interview, he “suddenly got a wee nudge” from his superior officer and was effectively told to “ease off” while questioning a man.

Mary Boyle: The Untold Story will be available in full in the coming weeks.

Previously: Mary Boyle on Broadsheet.ie

To Journalists

Update: Listen to Gemma discuss Mary Boyle The Untold Story on Highland Radio [April 30]


From top: : Ann Doherty (left) and Gemma O’Doherty at the United States Congress and with Representative Brendan Boyle (above).

This afternoon.

Capitol Hill, Washington DC

United States Congressman Brendan Boyle has pledged his support for justice for Ireland’s longest missing child Mary Boyle following a meeting in Capitol Hill today with her twin Ann Doherty and investigative journalist Gemma O’Doherty.

Congressman Boyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania whose father is from Glencolumbkille, C0 Donegal, had a lengthy meeting with Ann and Gemma.

He expressed particular concern that Mary’s remains had not yet been found and that her killer is still at large. He has offered to assist them in their search for truth and justice in whatever capacity he can.

Mary Boyle was six years old when she vanished on remote farmland near Ballyshannon, Donegal on March 18, 1977. Her remains have never been found.

Her sister and a number of senior gardai who worked on the case in the period after the murder believe she was killed by somebody she knew and was sexually assaulted before her death.

The officers also allege that a politician contacted Ballyshannon Garda Station in the days after the murder and requested that certain people not be considered suspects.

Said Ann:

“It was a pleasure to meet Congressman Boyle today. He listened with compassion and interest to our testimony about Mary’s death and was most concerned. He has great affection for Donegal – his father’s homeland – and that is obvious not least because of the large picture of Glencolumbkille on his office wall”

“Having spent a number of days in Washington meeting politicians and others, I’ve have to say I have encountered more concern for my sister here than in the corridors of power in Ireland where Frances Fitzgerald and Micheal Martin both refuse to meet me.

I hope Irish-American politicians can use their influence now and encourage the government to set up an independent inquiry into the allegations of corruption in the case and also to impress upon Garda Commissioner Noirin O’Sullivan that an arrest of Mary’s killer is long overdue.”

On the first day of their trip to Washington, Ann and Gemma met with former congressman and human rights lawyer Bruce Morrison and Fr Sean McManus of the Irish National Caucus who has been very supportive of Ann in her fight for justice.

They also met a series of senior politicians from Northern Ireland including Secretary of State Theresa Villiers, First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, and Nigel Dodds DUP MP for North Belfast.

PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton and chair of the Northern Ireland Policing Board Anne Connolly were also informed about the case, including allegations of Garda malpractice in the investigation.

They have agreed to meet Ann and Gemma in the coming months in Belfast.

Previously: Mary Boyle case on broadsheet

Pics : Gemma O’Doherty



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.’

Mary Boyle on Broadsheet


Robert Black and Mary Boyle

Robert Black, who was serving 12 life sentences for the murders of four schoolgirls in the Eighties – three in Britain and one in Northern Ireland – has died in Maghaberry Prison in Co Antrim.

In reports about his death today, several Irish media outlets have linked Black to the unsolved case of Mary Boyle – who was six years old when she vanished on her grandparents’ farm near Ballyshannon, Co Donegal on March 18, 1977.

Journalist Gemma O’Doherty – who has previously reported on Broadsheet that Mary’s twin sister Ann Doherty believes she knows Mary’s killer, a person who is still alive and living in Ireland; and that there was political interference in the case – spoke to Jonathan Healy on Newstalk’s Lunchtime about this reported link.

Ms O’Doherty’s interview comes a month after Ann wrote to and asked the Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’ Sullivan to search particular sites that she believes may contain her sister’s remains. Ann’s requests have gone unanswered to date.

Jonathan Healy: “Have you any idea Gemma, how Robert Black and his name became linked to the disappearance of Mary Boyle?”

Gemma O’Doherty: “I don’t actually and it’s a very sinister, has been very sinister through the years, that his name was linked to the case. And certainly Ann Doherty, Mary’s identical twin is very disturbed, yet again, by these allegations being made by certain quarters that he had anything to do with the murder of her six-year-old sister. It is the case that Ann believes, and more importantly a number of very senior officers who were working on the case at the time, that Mary was murdered by somebody known to her. Mary Boyle did not know Robert Black.”

Healy: “And this crept in over the years because let’s face it, Robert Black was a particularly nasty individual, he was jailed for a number of crimes, and was linked to a number of other disappearances and suspicious deaths in and around the British Isles. Could it just be the case that because he was nasty and because Mary’s case was unsolved people put two and two together and came up with five?”

O’Doherty: “Well they certainly did come up with five but I think we need to bring your listeners back to 1977 when Mary was visiting her grandparents’ extremely remote farm outside Ballyshannon. Just four miles from the border with Fermanagh, this part of the country was one of the most heavily policed at the time, there were at least three permanent Garda checkpoints operating 24/7 because this was the height of the Troubles in northern Ireland and on the northern side, the RUC and the British Army had a number of units there which were operating permanently. The possibility of, I believe this individual drove a van, the possibility of him coming through the border when there was such a heavy police presence, it’s actually laughable if it wasn’t so serious. Really people need to know the landscape that we’re talking about. The nearest wrote was a long distance away and it’s just inconceivable had anything to do with it. There were three cars accounted for on the day, that were in that immediate area and they have been ruled out. The evidence points in a very clear direction and it’s certainly doesn’t, and never did, point in the direction of Robert Black and it is very disturbing.”

Healy: “You have spoken to Ann today, on the back of these reports, how has she reacted to this name being linked with the disappearance of her sister?”

Doherty: “Well, Ann, through the years, you know it’s almost been 40 years and she’s been trying to find her little sister, her identical twin. She has suffered hugely through the years, she has taken on very serious forces in this State and stood up against them and she’s suffered hugely and I would ask, on behalf of my profession, that they think about her today before they make allegations that they cannot possibly support. But it’s not only Ann we should be talking about today, we should be thinking about Mary Boyle who is our youngest missing citizen. I believe, and so does Ann and so does a number of officers, that she was brutally raped before her murder and we also believe that her rapist and murderer is still at large in this country and is a danger to other children and that is what is key about this case.”

Healy: “You have been involved in this campaign for a while, you’ve been working with Ann and Margo O’Donnell who has also made statements to the gardaí, they’ve met with the Taoiseach as well, they’ve tried to progress this, they have had I suppose, in getting through doors, some success, but are they confident today that the authorities are taking a fresh look and a serious look into Mary’s case?”

Doherty: “Well there’s no evidence to suggest that. It’s almost a month since Ann and her lawyers requested that two new sites in the immediate vicinity of Ballyshannon be searched and their requests have been dismissed, they’ve been ignored, they haven’t received any sort of reply. Ann is pushing forward for an inquest, Mary Boyle deserves and inquest and it is hoped that the truth will come out in an inquest because, certainly, she and other officers who are close to the case and who worked on it at the time have no faith in An Garda Síochána in relation to this case.”

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Related: Convicted child killer Robert Black dies in prison (RTE)

Previously: Mary Boyle And Political Interference

Pic: STV

Thanks Paddy


Ann Doherty with a picture of, from left, her twin Mary Boyle, brother Patrick and Ann

Gemma O’Doherty reported last month that Ann Doherty believed she had identified a new location in Donegal where she suspects her twin sister Mary Boyle – who vanished in 1977 – may have been buried.

Ms Doherty wrote to Garda Commissoner Noirin O’Sullivan requesting the area to be examined, on foot of new evidence she received last month.

Further to this…

Previously: Mary Boyle case on Broadsheet