Man questioned in connection with Mary Boyle disappearance released

Mary Boyle

A man arrested over the unsolved disappearance of six-year-old Mary Boyle in 1977 has been released from Garda custody.

The 64-year-old was detained on suspicion of kidnapping the youngster, who went missing near her grandparents’ home in Cashelard, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal, and is presumed murdered.

He was the first person arrested in the 37 years since her disappearance.

Gardai said a file would be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions following further investigation.

Mary, from Belcruit, Kincasslagh, in the north of the county, was on a St Patrick’s Day visit to her relatives with her parents, Ann and Charlie, and siblings when she disappeared on March 18 1977.

Her body has never been found and her disappearance remains the longest running case of its kind in Ireland.

The arrest was made after new evidence was discovered by cold case detectives investigating the disappearance since 2011.

Repeated searches have taken place in bogland and fields around Cashelard over the years, with the officer who led the initial searches for Mary, retired sergeant Martin Collins, saying he is convinced her body is buried near to where she was last seen.

Mary had been playing outside when she followed her uncle across fields near her grandparents’ house but was never seen again after she turned to go back.

Convicted child killer Robert Black was a suspect in her disappearance because he travelled from Britain to Ireland as a van driver and spent time in the Donegal area, but the Boyle family do not believe he was responsible.


Mary Boyle

Most Read in Ireland