Skeleton is found close to home of missing teen Ciara
Gardai were investigating the discovery of skeletal remains in the back garden of a house in Dundalk yesterday, a short distance from the home of missing teenager Ciara Breen.
Construction workers contacted gardai shortly before 5pm after they made the grim find while working on a site at Mary Street North.
A garda team attended the scene and have contacted a coroner. Officers also sought the services of a forensic anthropologist and preserved the scene.
Gardai said last night it was too early to say if the remains could be those of Ciara Breen (17), who disappeared from her home in Bachelor's Walk, less than 200 metres away, on February 13, 1997.
Locals, however, expressed hope last night that the long agony of Ciara's mother Bernadette might at last be brought to an end. Bernadette has prayed for 20 years that the body of her only child could receive a decent burial.
Ciara and Bernadette lived in Bachelor's Walk at the time of her disappearance, a short walk from Mary Street North.
Gardai conducted an intensive search of Balmer's Bog in the town last year for her body but the dig was unsuccessful.
Fine Gael Cllr Maria Doyle said last night that the find was in the same part of the town where Ciara disappeared.
"It is very close to Bachelor's Walk. Last year, the search of Balmer's Bog was carried out by gardai in the hope of finding the remains of Ciara. We had all hoped then that there would be a resolution for the family.
"Geographically these areas are very close but I don't know yet if there's any chance that they are connected or not. It is very, very close."
She said the community had long hoped that if Ciara's remains were found it would help Bernadette get closure on the tragedy.
"It's been a very long time and all her contemporaries in Ciara's age group are all married," she said.
"Absolutely they would like to see closure for her mother and wider family and friends. We hoped when it came to Ciara's disappearance that the story would come to an end.
"This is just construction workers came across it. Sometimes these things are solved that way. I've no information whatsoever that it's connected so we'll wait and see."