herald

Sunday 22 September 2019

JCB driver found skull of missing mum in farm ditch

Mum Margaret Glennon
Mum Margaret Glennon

A Coroner's court has heard that a skull found in a ditch by a digger driver in 2014 was that of a woman who disappeared 24 years ago.

DNA samples allowed the remains to be identified in October last year as those of Margaret Glennon (49), who was last seen in 1995.

Dublin Coroner's Court heard that Ms Glennon, of Baldoyle, Dublin 13, was a "hugely missed" mother-of-four.

"She was always a very positive person, but her [cancer] had a big impact on her," said her daughter, Orla.

Cancer

Ms Glennon underwent cancer treatment the year before she went missing, and Orla moved home to help care for her.

"She was always slight, but she lost a lot of weight due to chemotherapy. She never left the house alone," Orla told the inquest.

Gardai were contacted when Ms Glennon went missing in May 1995, but searches and media appeals revealed no trace.

In 2014, JCB driver Lorne Teeling was excavating a ditch at Ravensdale Farm, Bennetts Lane, Malahide, Co Dublin, when he saw something in the digger bucket. Closer inspection revealed it was a skull. No other remains were found, and gardai found no evidence of foul play.

A post-mortem by Dr Michael Curtis gave the cause of death as undetermined.

"We think the skull might have been detached from the body and moved by animals to the ditch area," said Detective Garda Damien McCormack.

Coroner Dr Myra Cullinan said that after the discovery, many families were contacted to help Forensic Science Ireland identify the remains.

"It proved possible after all these years to identify Ms Glennon," she said.

"I think we are increasingly aware of how difficult it is for families who do not know what happened to loved ones and spend years wondering."

The coroner recorded an open verdict.

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