herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Body of tragic Thomas was unidentified in UK since last August

Thomas Kennedy search
Thomas Kennedy
Thomas Kennedy

The body of Thomas Kennedy, who went missing from his Finglas home last July, was discovered in the sea off Blackpool in the UK less than three weeks later.

However, his remains were only positively identified this week.

The 81-year-old grandfather went to put out the bins at his home in Virginia Park on July 29 last year at around 9pm and had not been seen since.

Local police in Blackpool confirmed that his body was spotted in the sea off the coast on August 17 last year, but it has taken until now to positively identify his remains.

Read More: Family’s heartache as body of missing pensioner Thomas (81) washes up in England

His saddened family in Dublin were informed of the confirmation that the body was that of Mr Kennedy on Wednesday.

"A body was spotted in the sea near the Glitter Ball landmark, in South Shore, on August 17 last year - around three weeks after he was reported missing," a police source confirmed.

"After being alerted by a member of the public, police recovered the body but have only now been able to formally identify him," they added.

Det Sgt Kathryn Riley, of Blackpool CID, said Mr Kennedy had no ID on him.

Forensic

"It has taken police and forensic services a number of weeks and months to be able to extract DNA in this case," she added.

"As a result of liaising with the Missing Persons Bureau in the UK and in Ireland and making inquiries in relation to the brands of clothing the deceased male was wearing, it was felt he may well have originated in Ireland," she explained.

"We were then given a possible ID for the man and we have now got confirmation," said Det Sgt Riley.

"This is a tragic situation for the family but it is a little bit of closure at last that we have identified Mr Kennedy's body," she said in extending her condolences to the family.

Yesterday the family posted a message on the Missing Person Thomas Kennedy Facebook page to say that his body had been recovered.

Thomas' death is not being treated as suspicious.

In August, a Dublin taxi man told gardai he believed he may have picked up Mr Kennedy shortly after midnight on the night he went missing near his home in Virginia Park.

The driver brought the man to Baldoyle. Gardai moved their search to there but nothing was found.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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