FAMILY SLAM SEARCH FOR LOST DOCTOR
Relatives not warned about Garda land dig
THE families of a doctor who went missing a decade ago have questioned a Garda decision to undertake a major dig for her remains.
Deirdre Donnelly O’flaherty, a GP and mother of three, has not been seen since January 11, 2009, when her car was found at Kinnego beach in Co Donegal.
In a shock development, gardai last week excavated land 50 miles away in Milford, Co Donegal.
The dig concluded on Friday, with gardai announcing that nothing linked to the investigation into the 46-year-old had been found.
The dig was ordered after gardai received as anonymous tip-off. In 2012, a judge in Belfast formally declared Mrs Donnelly O’flaherty, who suffered from depression, had drowned in the sea.
In a statement the Donnelly and O’flaherty families described the last week as an “ordeal” and have asked to meet the officers involved in the operation in an attempt to get answers.
They said: “We wish to express their heartfelt gratitude for the many kind and thoughtful messages of support.
“The families are relieved only because this ordeal is over although in our view, the outcome was not in doubt. Notification that gardai were going to carry out a land search was entirely unexpected. As far as we are aware there has not in fact been any ongoing search for Deirdre since at least that time.
“The families had only three days’ advance notice of the excavations and therefore had little time to prepare for the consequences of the very public, national exposure of this story during the week.
“Gardai confirmed to the families at that time that the decision to conduct the excavation flowed from an anonymous note handed in to a Garda station in County Monaghan in August 2017.
“The families have requested a meeting with the Garda investigation team to discuss a number of questions relating to the conduct, conclusions and consequences of this investigation.”
TRAUMA Garda dig in Donegal last week
TRAGIC Deirdre Donnelly O’flaherty