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I hope skeletal remains are our missing Bernie -- brother

The family of missing woman Bernie Gavan is anxiously awaiting the results of pathology tests on skeletal remains.

Her brother Michael Gavan said he hopes the remains discovered in Tolka Valley Park, Finglas are that of his sister who disappeared three years ago.

Bernie (59) went missing on August 19, 2007 but Michael said there were reports of her two days later. "I hope it's her one way or the other," he said.

Torture

"Two days after she went missing, a woman in a B&B said she thought she saw her. She invited her in and let her wash up and then Bernie left. The woman didn't know that she was missing."

Michael, who is undergoing treatment for cancer, has lived in the family home in Finglas for 55 years.

He said that the last three years have been torture not knowing what happened to his sister.

"She was great, she was a lady. She was in church choirs and she went to Mass every day," he said.

Michael has not had any contact with gardai yet and is unsure whether a DNA sample will be required.

"I still don't know if it's her but I hope it is," he said.

Her devastated brother has even visited the spot where the skeletal remains were found by boys playing football.

"Two people came up to the door yesterday and said, 'Did you hear about your sister?'

"I was in the pub later and a woman brought me down to the park. But the gardai wouldn't let me near."

Gardai remained at the scene this morning and State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy examined the scene.

The remains were discovered yesterday by children playing in Tolka Valley Park.

"A football was kicked into this deep hole, or well, at the foot of a pylon in the park," a source said.

"One of the children went in to get the ball back and saw the skull."

Gardai reportedly found a pink jacket next to the remains, which is similar to the one Bernie was last seen wearing.

Ms Emmett and friend Marie Byrne have spent nearly four years searching for their close friend.

Autopsy

"We searched everywhere for her. She was lovely. We were always thinking about her. We never forgot her."

Marie added: "Gardai told me they're 90pc sure it is her."

Dr Cassidy carried out the initial investigation of the scene yesterday, and the remains are expected to be moved to Blanchardstown's Connolly Memorial Hospital for a full autopsy.

A Facebook page was set up to raise awareness of Bernie's disappearance, with Dubliners regularly posting well wishes.

hnews@herald.ie