Northern Ireland news

Police Ombudsman investigates Mary Boyle complaint

Mary Boyle's twin sister Ann (left) pictured with film maker Gemma O'Doherty and PSNI Chief Constable George Hamilton at an event in America earlier this year
Connla Young

THE Police Ombudsman is investigating a complaint about the PSNI in relation to the suspected murder of Co Donegal schoolgirl Mary Boyle.

Details emerged a day after the Irish News revealed that Mary's identical twin sister, Anne Doherty, is set to meet PSNI officers over claims that someone living in Co Fermanagh may have knowledge of her disappearance.

The six-year-old vanished from her grandparents' home near Ballyshannon in March 1977.

She is believed to have been murdered and her body possibly buried in bogland near the Fermanagh border.

New claims about her disappearance are contained in an internet documentary by investigative journalist Gemma O'Doherty.

Ms O’Doherty said she contacted police about the possible Fermanagh link after contact with an official attached to the office of PSNI chief constable George Hamilton.

It is understood a complaint was then lodged with the Police Ombudsman by Ms O’Doherty after a PSNI officer later provided details to An Garda Síochána without her knowledge.

A spokesman for Dr Michael Maguire last night said: “We have received a complaint and our enquiries are at an advanced stage.”

Ms O’Doherty’s film suggests 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.

An inquest into the suspected death has never been held.

Veteran Donegal Fianna Fail TD Pat ‘The Cope' Gallagher has said he was not the alleged political figure.

Earlier this week gardaí confirmed that a cold case unit will now probe the child’s disappearance almost 40 years ago.

Ms O’Doherty said she, Ann Doherty and Margo O’Donnell, a sister of country music star Daniel O’Donnell, are due to meet detectives in the north shortly.

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