June 2, 2023

33-year-old mystery surrounding missing Kilkenny man is finally solved

THE family of a Kilkenny man who disappeared over 30 years ago will finally have closure this Christmas after his remains were formally identified using advanced DNA analysis.

A “one-in-a-billion” DNA match on a body buried that was buried in Wales 33 years ago has finally been confirmed as the remains of missing Brendan Dowley.

Brendan’s son Alan Dowley said it will be a “much happier” Christmas for his family after the three-decades old mystery about what happened to his father was finally resolved.

Alan, who works for the Association of Garda Sergeants and Inspectors, told The Irish Sun: “A lot of us accepted the fact he was gone years ago — but to have closure now at this stage, especially for my mother who is still alive and going on 98 years of age and my other siblings, it’s come as a great relief to us.

“We’ve come to a conclusion and he was laid to rest so it’s a happier Christmas for all of us in that regard.”

Alan’s dad Brendan was last seen in Kilkenny on October 17, 1985, when he was spotted boarding a bus in the town before heading to the UK on a ferry.

Brendan’s family never heard from him again. Three weeks later in November 1985, a body washed up on the Welsh coast.

At the time, it was impossible to establish if the remains belonged to Brendan as science hadn’t advanced far enough, but Alan said he “always had that kind of feeling” that the body was that of his missing father.

In 2016 Alan heard about Operation Orchid when UK police appealed for help to identify 17 people whose remains dated back over 40 years.

He quickly got in contact and when they were able to match his DNA with some relatives, Brendan’s remains were finally formally identified.

Brendan’s body was returned to Ireland in September, and he was laid to rest in the family plot just over the Kilkenny border in Carrick-On-Suir, where he originally hailed from.


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