Mary Boyle – Co Donegal – 1977

March 2012 - Search to resume for body of girl missing since 1977

FURTHER searches for the body of Mary Boyle, who went missing in 1977, are to start in a swamp near her grandparents’ home.

The six-year-old twin vanished from Cashelard, Co Donegal, exactly 35 years ago yesterday.

Her family had gone to her mother’s parents to attend an anniversary Mass for her uncle on St Patrick’s Day. After lunch next day, Mary began following her uncle and godfather, Gerry, to a neighbour’s house, but she is believed to have turned back along the way. She was never seen again.

Despite an intensive garda investigation and a vast search, no trace of her has been found.

But her cousin, country singer Margo O’Donnell, who initiated a search of a swamp not far from the remote farmhouse with the aid of a Dutch psychic last year, said: “I know we are very close to finding Mary Boyle. I believe she could be found this year.”

Margo, who is working closely with Mary’s twin sister, Ann Doherty, has vowed that they will not give up until they find Mary’s remains.

The singer, a sister of Daniel O’Donnell, said they believed there must be somebody who could help them, even after all this time.

“This is not about finding a killer but if there is somebody out there who feels they know something, then it is not too late to give us that information and it will be treated with the highest respect. This is about bringing Mary home,” she said.

She said searches would resume in the area with assistance from the Dutch psychic.

“This is the place where we believe Mary’s remains are.”

Speaking at her home near Kincasslagh, Mary Boyle’s grieving, widowed mother Ann said her missing daughter was never out of her mind.

“Until Mary is found and I can say for positive what happened to Mary I will keep an open mind.”

Mary’s father, Charlie Boyle, died in a fishing accident in July 2005

Nicola Tallant (SUNDAY WORLD newspaper) retraces the last steps of missing Mary Boyle

The hunt for Mary Boyle