UPDATE: Dramatic breakthrough in 34-year-old Kilkenny murder investigation
By COLIN BARTLEY
A MAN in his 70s is continuing to be questioned in custody this evening in connection with the murder of Kilkenny woman Marie Tierney nearly 35 years ago.
The mother-of-two disappeared from Newpark, Kilkenny on October 22, 1984. Her body was discovered in a ditch on Bleach Road, Kilkenny on December 21, 1984.
Her two children were aged 12 and 13 at the time.
In 1984, the murder of 34-year-old Marie Tierney shocked the nation. This morning, more than 34 years after her brutal killing, a man in his 70s was arrested and detained at Kilkenny Garda Station.
Marie Tierney was well known locally and she ran a grocery store and petrol station with her husband Jim, in Clintstown, Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny.
She was reported missing on October 22, 1984 by her husband. Marie had left their house in Jenkinstown the previous night at 10.30pm in a Renualt 18 estate. She never returned.
Gardaí located Marie’s car at Newpark Fen, Kilkenny the following day.
Despite a number of searches by concerned friends and relatives, and by the gardai, Marie could not be located.
Marie Tierney’s body was eventually discovered on December 21, 1984 in a ditch on Bleach Road, Kilkenny by a man out walking.
A post-mortem carried out at that time stated she had been strangled.
Gardaí conducted an exhaustive investigation including opening 500 lines of enquiry and taking over 200 witness statements, but no arrests were ever made.
In October last year, Marie Tierney’s remains were exhumed from Conahy Cemetery in Jenkinstown.
A post-mortem took place involving new technology and improved DNA testing, after which her remains were reinterred in the cemetery.
A Garda spokesperson today said: “A murder investigation was launched and as a result of a thorough investigation a man in his 70s was this morning arrested in connection with this investigation.
“The man is currently detained in Kilkenny Garda Station under the provisions of Section 4 – Criminal Justice Act 1984.”