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Thread: Ireland - Mary Boyle, 6, Cashelard, County Donegal, 18 March 1977

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    Ireland - Mary Boyle, 6, Cashelard, County Donegal, 18 March 1977

    I know this forum is mainly by and for Americans, but I hope nobody minds me posting this case anyway. This is Ireland's longest running missing person's case, and it has haunted the local community - and tortured the girls' family - for decades.

    http://www.doenetwork.org/cases/1460dfirl.html

    A foundation established in memory of Ireland's longest missing person is to be launched in Donegal this weekend.

    Thirty three years ago, a little girl, Mary Boyle, went missing from her grandparents' house in Cashelard, near Ballyshannon.

    Mary was following her Uncle Gerry, across the fields to a neighbouring farm when she turned back. She never returned home. The mystery of Mary Boyle's disappearance shocked the nation and changed Ann Boyle's life forever.

    Only for the support from her husband, Charlie, Ann would never have coped. Later Ann was to receive another fatal blow when Charlie died tragically in a fishing accident.

    "It was Charlie's wish to know what happened to Mary before he died. Maybe Mary was a long time waiting for somebody to join her. Maybe she needed him more than I did."

    Mary had a twin sister, also named Ann after her mother. Ann struggled through life without her soul mate.

    "I always felt there was a part of me missing. When I made my communion, when I got married, any event that I would ever have, there was always a part of me missing."

    The Boyle household always lived in the shadow of the tragedy of Mary's disappearance. Then at sixteen, Ann, Mary's twin, got pregnant and called the child Mary, after her sister.

    "When she was born, she brought happiness back to the house.I wouldn't say she replaced Mary but she filled a kind of gap that was left by Mary."

    Then, some years later, when Ann was getting married she was faced with a dilemma.

    "When I got married, I had to make a decision to leave Mary with Mom and Dad because I couldn't put them through taking another Mary away from them."

    Mary Jnr., is still living in the Boyle home. She too got pregnant at sixteen years old, and just a month after her grandfather's death she gave birth to a girl and named her Charley.

    Today, 33 years later, Ann Snr. still pleads for any information on what happened to her daughter. When asked if finding out what happened to Mary could destroy her family, Ann says she would still want to know.

    The Mary Boyle Foundation is being launched at 2pm in Magheroarty this Sunday and will provide support for families of missing persons

    Mary’s mother Ann Boyle said yesterday that she hopes it will go some way in helping others trying to continue on when they don’t know what has become of their loved ones

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  3. #2
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    Never forgotten.

    Search resumes for missing Mary Boyle (Belfast Telegraph)
    Monday, 10 January 2011
    ---
    Yesterday, members of the Boyle family were assisted by gardai in a fresh dig of a bogland site 300 metres from where little Mary had been last seen.

    The dig was initiated on foot of new information from a Danish psychic hired by country singer Margo O'Donnell, a sister of Daniel, who is a friend of the family. Yan Sterns pinpointed the location where the dig should focus.
    more at link above

    Doe Network: Mary Boyle

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    so sad story

    what a beautiful girl!
    I hope they will find her alive sometime!
    She vanished without trace while out walking on a country lane like my son did.
    I think someone abducted her

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    Poor little sweetheart. My heart bleeds for her and her family.

    Mrs Boyle admits that for years she vainly hoped that her daughter had been taken by a childless couple. "The way I dealt with it for a long time was to think somebody had taken Mary who had no family and desperately wanted one.
    "I hoped they were caring for her and being very good to her and that when she was a teenager she'd come back.
    "But as Ann (her twin) got older she convinced me that something happened Mary that day and that maybe someone took her."

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Sky...20080641280904

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    Oddly, it doesn't say anything about Uncle Gerry - or from his POV - except that Mary had been following him. Did he know she was behind him, or did she run out to join him after he'd already left?

    Or, I hate to say, what about the uncle himself? Was there any reason to believe he might have done something to the child?

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    Uncle Gerry's time is all accounted for and alibi'd apart from a short space of time, ie less than ten minutes, when he walked from his mother's house to the neighbour's house. About half way there he turned around and told Mary to stop following him and go back to the house, and that's the last time she was seen.

    Of course, its possible to kill a child in less than ten minutes, but I don't think its possible for him to have hidden the body so successfully in that short space of time that she was never found in the immediate and thorough search of the area that took place when she was reported missing. In fact, I don't see how any of the locals could have hidden her that successfully, because after she was reported missing there were dozens of guards, hundreds of soldiers from the local army camp, and hundreds of civilian volunteers searching all through Cashelard and the surrounding area. I think she must have been taken away in a car.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CastlesBurning View Post
    Oddly, it doesn't say anything about Uncle Gerry - or from his POV - except that Mary had been following him. Did he know she was behind him, or did she run out to join him after he'd already left?

    Or, I hate to say, what about the uncle himself? Was there any reason to believe he might have done something to the child?
    I read the book "Missing in Ireland" written by Barry Cummins which has a chapter on Mary.

    [ame="http://www.amazon.de/Missing-Irelands-Disappeared-Barry-Cummins/dp/0717148386/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1310677668&sr=8-1"]Missing: Ireland's Disappeared: Amazon.de: Barry Cummins: Englische Bücher@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51z14cRiIgL.@@AMEPARAM@@51z14cRiIgL[/ame]

    Her uncle was aware that she was following him. They were chatting with each other but carrying a heavy ladder - which he had borrowed from the neighbours - over muddy ground the uncle was quite monosyllabic. Mary got bored and turned back probably to go to her grandparents house to join her siblings and cousins who were playing there.


    Sottish serial-child-killer Robert Black visited the general area where Mary vanished occasionally around that time. Although there is no hard evidence linking him to Mary's case he is of course suspected.

    Another possibility is that Mary just fell in one of the many bogholes in the area.

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    I doubt she fell into a boghole, there aren't really that many bogholes in Cashelard anyway. Robert Black is a serious possibility, but unfortunately he died in prison before he could be interviewed about the case.

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    According to wikipedia Black is still alive and was lately accused of another murder:
    [ame]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Black_%28serial_killer%29[/ame]

    As far as I know he was linked to his other killings frist via papertrail.
    He was a truckdriver and his gas-bills placed him near the locations where the abductions/murders occurred.

    Robert Black is suspected of child-murders all over northern Europe, because he got around a lot driving his truck.

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    My apologies, Mischa. I got Black confused with another convicted murderer, sorry.

    I see from your link that this character has been charged with the murder of a child in Co. Down in 1981. That's not so far from Ballyshannon, so I really hope the local Gardai are pursuing all avenues of enquiry about Black. Mary Boyle's family really do need some closure.

    Its heartbreaking, and infuriating, to watch people prey on this girl's mother. So called "psychics" and the like who pretend to have visions, and of course they need to be paid before they can "envision" any more. Its cruel.

    I hope the local Guards do their job and bring proper closure to the Boyle family.

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    any news?

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    Due to the political climate in Northern Ireland at the time and the frequent border crossing of IRA Volunteers, I wonder if it is possible she was struck by an IRA volunteer with a car or if she saw something she shouldn't have. I doubt the volunteer would admit to striking the child (as chances are, he'd have been taken care of within the organization for such a deed) or that the organization would take credit for the death of a small child if she had stumbled upon a weapons cache or something similar.

    I realize this is only a remote possibility, but I think it should at least be considered.

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    THE LITTLE girl at the centre of Ireland's longest missing child hunt could be lying in a shallow grave yards from where she went missing. The grave was identified by three searchers looking for sixyear- old Mary Boyle just days after she disappeared in 1977.

    However, despite the fact it was marked and reported to gardai working on the case, it was never checked out, a Sunday World investigation reveals today. We can also disclose how the site is set to be dug up in a new review that could lead to the first major breakthrough in the hunt for the little girl.

    Just weeks ago, officers reviewing the 36-year-old mystery visited a bowlshaped area of land at Cashelard, in Donegal, near where Mary was last seen by her uncle Gerry Gallagher, as she followed him from his family farm to a neighbour's property.
    Forensic

    They have also interviewed and taken lengthy statements from the surviving searchers who found the freshlydug earth - one of whom describes today how the hairs on the back of his neck stood on end when he saw it. Gardai under Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny have also taken evidence that is known to have been on the land at the time Mary vanished and sent it for forensic analysis.

    A Sunday World Cold Case team this week investigates the mystery of Mary's disappearance on the lonely hillside where the secrets behind her death still lie.

    We can reveal how:

    - a shallow grave was reported to Gardai THREE times across three decades but has yet to be excavated;
    - senior New York Police Department (NYPD) officers have offered their services to the hunt for Mary and believe they have identified a suspect in her disappearance;
    - a review team hope that forensics may still help them solve the case despite the passage of time;
    - a cross erected in memory of the little girl has been mysteriously removed, and;
    - how former chief suspect, child killer Robert Black, couldn't have been involved, according to experts.

    Today, Mary's twin sister Ann also issues a desperate plea to the Gardai to excavate the grave discovered by witnesses on the hillside where her sister disappeared 36 years ago. The site, a little over a hundred metres from the last place Mary was last seen alive, was identified by three witnesses just two days after she went missing, but has never been searched or undergone any forensic analysis.

    "They need to search it to see if she is there or was there. I hope they will because if someone has come forward and said that they thought that this was a grave, then it's the only clue we would have in all this time," an emotional Ann said.

    Mary and Ann were visiting their grandparents' home in Cashelard on St Patrick's weekend in 1977 when the unthinkable happened. After dinner, Mary set out to follow her uncle Gerry across the boggy hillside, but never came back. Her disappearance is the longest missing child investigation in the history of the State, but today, in the first of our two-part Cold Case review, we untangle the veil of secrecy that has hung over the files for decades.

    The Sunday World understands that in the aftermath of Mary's disappearance, hundreds of local farmers came to offer their help searching for her. During day two, a line of volunteers stretched from the Gallagher cottage to the top of the mountain and began to walk across it. Three searchers, including farmer John Gallagher (no relation), say they came across what looked like a freshlydug grave measuring about four feet by two feet.

    One of the trio, who has since died, later told an officer involved in the original investigation that he pulled at some of the sod and saw what looked like brown hair.

    John Gallagher told our team last week: "The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. There is no doubt but it was a grave."

    He said he marked the site with a stick and made his way to a mobile unit which was being used as the Garda's headquarters during the searches. He informed an officer of his find. The Sunday World understands that the grave was never mentioned again and weeks later, when Gallagher enquired, he was informed that it had been ruled out.

    Weeks after her disappearance, two graves were dug in lands near the family farm. They were routinely excavated to make sure they held animal remains and not the child, but incredibly, the one nearest the place where she was last seen was left untouched.

    In 1995, when Gardai began to reinvestigate the unsolved case, the man who claims to have seen the hair went with an officer to point out where he had stumbled upon the shallow grave. Again, nothing was done.

    In the past few weeks, a team under Assistant Commissioner Kieran Kenny have again had the area identified to them and taken fresh statements in relation to it. It is unthinkable that it will not be searched at this point by officers reviewing the case. We can also reveal that two senior NYPD homicide detectives are carrying out enquiries in the area on behalf of the family and believe they have identified a new suspect.

    Forensics could still be the key to the case. An item has recently been removed by Gardai and has been sent for forensic testing. A scientist working with the Sunday World on the case, the man who recently identified the remains of King Richard III under a car park in England after 500 years, has said he believes the truth about what happened to Mary is likely to be preserved if her remains can be found.

    Leading forensic pathologist Stuart Hamilton says the boggy and acidic soil of Cashelard would provide the perfect preservation for organic tissue and could have kept safe detailed clues as to how she met her end. Country singer Margo O'Donnell, a cousin of Mary, who demanded that officers re-open the case two years ago, says she is stunned that a cross she erected to the little girl at the top of the mountain, near an area known as the Blind Lough, has been removed.

    "Why anyone would have removed it is just baffling. It must have been an uncomfortable reminder to someone that their past may be about to catch up with them," she said.

    http://www.sundayworld.com/columnists/
    Turris fortis mihi Deus..

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    The site, a little over a hundred metres from the last place Mary was last seen alive, was identified by three witnesses just two days after she went missing, but has never been searched or undergone any forensic analysis.
    Three searchers, including farmer John Gallagher (no relation), say they came across what looked like a freshlydug grave measuring about four feet by two feet.

    One of the trio, who has since died, later told an officer involved in the original investigation that he pulled at some of the sod and saw what looked like brown hair.

    John Gallagher told our team last week: "The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. There is no doubt but it was a grave."
    I was not familiar with this case before today but I can't believe what I am reading here. This smacks of a cover-up. Is the uncle connected to anyone influential? I look forward to reading the rest of this article and will do some more research on it.

    Here are a couple of websites for reference:

    http://www.maryboylefoundation.org/

    https://www.facebook.com/maryboyle.missing?fref=ts
    Last edited by Hilda Swenson; 03-27-2013 at 08:04 PM. Reason: links

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    I honestly can't believe that the uncle was never more closely scrutinised. My opinion only, but how can they just take his word for it? Last Sundays national paper (The Sunday World) did a great article containing a little more than what I posted above, and to me it screams that the uncle knows more than he is telling.
    Turris fortis mihi Deus..

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    New York police are close to cracking a Donegal murder that has baffled Irish cops since 1977.

    An NYPD officer with Donegal roots prompted the department’s interest in the murder of six-year-old Mary Boyle.

    The US cops believe they know who killed Boyle according to a report in the Irish Sun newspaper.

    The report says Mary was just six years old when she went missing in 1977.

    American officers have visited Cashelard outside Ballyshannon in Co Donegal where Mary was last seen and informally interviewed a number of people.

    The paper says they became interested in the unsolved killing after an officer with Donegal roots studied the case for many years.

    Singer Margo O’Donnell, a cousin of the missing, girl, told the papers that US officers believe they have identified the person they believe killed the young girl.

    She said: “The NYPD are very positive about the person they believe was responsible for Mary’s disappearance. In fact, they say they are 100 per cent positive they know who did it.

    “This could be the last throw of the dice in finding her body.”

    http://www.irishcentral.com/news/NYP...200407131.html
    Turris fortis mihi Deus..

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    Four years after he retired, Michael McGonigle brought Martin Collins to the gravesite and the former cop passed all the information on to Ballyshannon Gardai. Just three weeks ago, a garda team visited the site, 36 years after they were first made aware of it. This remains the only real clue to Mary's fate and this week Collins joined another gravesite witness, John Gallagher (no relation to the family), as the Sunday World, along with land survey specialists Scantech, conducted a geophysical survey of the site to check for any clues to Mary's body.
    Clue

    DISCOVERY: Nicola Tallant and Donal MacIntyre at the site spotted by John Gallagher 36 years ago

    DISCOVERY: Nicola Tallant and Donal MacIntyre at the site spotted by John Gallagher 36 years ago
    Scantech provided the services for free in the hope of unearthing any clue relating to Mary's disappearance. The technical team scanned the potential gravesite for anomalies in the soil profile to see if there are any clues to where a body may be buried, or had previously been buried. The results, which are due out next week, will be handed to the gardai to help them with the renewed investigation.

    "Although the land may have settled, we can give the gardai some direction and can help focus their search when our results come back. We have scanned the ground and now we have to analyse the results," Scantech operations manager, Declan Timlin said this weekend.

    This week gardai confirmed to Ann Boyle, Mary's mother, that they will be searching the potential gravesite in an effort to uncover any clues to her mysterious disappearance.

    "I phoned them this week and they told me that they will dig up that part of the hillside. It's very tough dealing with this now, all alone," she said.

    John Gallagher, the cattle dealer who stumbled across the gravesite 36 years ago, had mixed emotions as he walked the ground again.

    "It should have been searched back then. We knew a fresh grave when we saw one and hopefully it can help us to find Mary. That's what we all want," he said.

    http://www.sundayworld.com/columnist....php?aid=15040
    Turris fortis mihi Deus..

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    No news since April? Prayers for Mary & family.

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    I know this is a HUGE shot, but I'm considering this woman. I understand the geographical and time distance, but it's still a possibility. Plus, I know Mary had a fringe, but without the fringe and about ten years older, she (at least for me) does resemble the woman.

    https://identifyus.org/en/cases/11097

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    Convicted child serial killer Robert Black (66) has been identified as a suspect in the case of a missing seven-year-old girl from Co Donegal.

    Gardai are to review fresh evidence that Black may have abducted Mary Boyle in 1977 and also attempted to abduct her identical twin sister a year later...

    Black is currently serving multiple life sentences for the brutal abductions and murders of four girls in the early 1980s, including nine-year-old Jennifer Cardy in Ballinderry, Co Antrim in 1981, for which he was convicted in 2011.

    He was given a 25-year sentence, but told by the judge that it would be at least 89 years before he could ever be released.

    Police in Britain are now asking a specialist complex case unit to examine files in relation to two other girls, April Fabb (13) who disappeared in Norfolk in 1969, and Genette Tate (13) from Devon who was killed in 1978.
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news...-30658664.html

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    http://www.kildare-nationalist.ie/20...-girl-in-1977/

    A man has been arrested by gardaí today in connection with the alleged kidnapping of a six-year-old girl in 1977.

    The 64-year-old man is being held in Mullingar Station under the Criminal Justice Act 1984 and is currently being questioned. He can be detained for up to 24 hours.

    The arrest comes after new evidence was discovered by the Review Team based in the Northern Region.
    http://www.independent.ie/irish-news...-30681506.html

    It is understood the arrested man has several convictions for sexual abuse going back to the 1960s, and is from Co Donegal.

    It is understood he is serving a sentence for indecent assault at present.

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    Praying for closure for Mary's loved ones.

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    The mystery of what happened to Mary Boyle has plagued our community for as long as I can remember. I hope we're finally about to get some answers and an end to the torture her family are going through.

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    I'd heard of the case long ago and, long ago, though I knew it would not be forgotten, quietly I gave up most hope that it might be solved. "O me of little faith," to twist that line and thus so to speak -- this would appear to be that long-hoped-for solution.

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