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Donegal Fianna Fail councillor Sean McEniff denies any involvement in Mary Boyle case

Veteran Fianna Fáil politician Sean McEniff

A VETERAN Fianna Fáil Co Donegal councillor has denied trying to influence a Garda investigation into the disappearance of schoolgirl Mary Boyle.

The six-year-old, who was last seen near her grandparents' home at Cashelard, Ballyshannon, in March 1977, is believed to have been murdered and her body may have been buried near the Fermanagh border.

YouTube documentary 'Mary Boyle: The Untold Story' by journalist Gemma O'Doherty suggested that political pressure was put on gardaí in Co Donegal not to question relatives of a man regarded as the chief suspect, who was known to Mary and her family.

The suspect continues to live in Co Donegal and has never been arrested.

Sean McEniff, who is the Republic's longest-serving politician, said he "emphatically and unconditionally denies that he was the politician who allegedly contacted the gardaí in Ballyshannon at the time of the disappearance of Mary Boyle".

In a statement released by his solicitors, Mr McEniff said he "has no knowledge of such a call other than what he has heard recently on what was contained in the video Mary Boyle: The Untold Story".

"Mr McEniff is satisfied that the two former gardaí interviewed as part of the video have recently clarified that at the time of the disappearance or in the investigation that followed neither were aware of any such alleged phonecall and that there was no impediment from their superiors in the investigation as a result," the statement read.

The politician said he supported the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into Mary's disappearance.

"The disappearance of Mary Boyle has been a tragedy for the Boyle family and they are deeply affected by it," the statement read. "The gardaí have conducted detailed and extensive investigations which are continuing and should be co-operated with by all concerned."

The statement said that Mr McEniff is "entitled to his good name".

"He has taken legal advice in relation to the defamatory comments made both directly and by innuendo and will take such steps as are necessary to protect his reputation," it read.

"Some of the comments and statements that have been made are false, malicious and damaging to Mr McEniff."

Veteran Donegal Fianna Fáil TD Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher has previously said he is not the alleged political figure.

A Garda cold-case unit is reviewing Mary's disappearance. Searches took place in Co Donegal last week, although nothing was found.

Up to 500 people marched in Ballyshannon on Saturday seeking justice for Mary. Speaking afterwards, Joe Craig - a cousin of Mary - said the PSNI should be called in to investigate the case.

"There are just too many unanswered questions about this investigation and it needs fresh eyes," he said.

"And if we can't get the PSNI to do it then we should get a British or US force to investigate it."

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