Man found in Meath bog was unlawfully killed, inquest hears

Paul Murphy

A 42-year-old Dublin man who disappeared from his home in Co Cavan in 2011 and whose body was discovered in a bog in Co Meath three years later was unlawfully killed, an inquest in Trim, Co Meath was told today.

Gerard Daly

Gerard Anthony Daly, originally from Cavan, was living in Bailieboro with his partner and three children.

He was last seen on June 26, 2011 and his disappearance was reported to the gardai on June 29 that year.

His body was recovered at Oristown Bog, Co Meath on September 11, 2014. The body was discovered during searches of the bog for one of the IRA's so-called Disappeared.

At today's inquest, Superintendent Fergus Traynor, who was a detective inspector at the time of Mr Daly's disappearance, said that hundreds of enquiries had been made, and hundreds of statements had been taken and a number of searches conducted.

He said that the garda investigation into the death had since been concluded and there had been no prosecution in the case.

He said that it was suspected that one person was present at the time of the death but that there may have been others. He said that it was possible that Mr Daly died on the day after his disappearance.

Garda Sergeant Paul Carroll, a crime scene examiner, told the inquest that it was likely that Mr Daly had been killed at Oristown bog.

He added that it would appear from investigations that Mr Daly was killed on the evening of June 26, 2011 or early the following morning.

Experts from Forensic Science Ireland, Dr David Casey and Mr Edward Connolly gave evidence of establishing the deceased's identity through DNA.

State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy described various injuries to the body, some of which might have been caused by excavation at the bog but others not.

She said that there had been four significant blows delivered to Mr Daly's head caused by a blunt instrument and there was also trauma to the larynx which might indicate that Mr Daly was held forcefully by the neck.

She said the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head.

The jury returned a verdict that death was caused by unlawful killing.

Meath coroner Nathaniel Lacy, expressing condolences to the family, said that he could only imagine what the last few years had been like for them.

A spokesperson for the family said that they were "happy and sad" at the verdict, sad that they had lost Gerard but happy that there had been closure for them.

"Today's verdict was very much what we expected. It has been a long seven years", the spokesperson said.

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