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Ireland Remains 'strongly believed' to be those of Wexford woman missing for 23 years exhumed in Wales

13:35  13 december  2017
13:35  13 december  2017 Source:   independent.ie

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Pauline Finlay (49) from Co Wexford is missing since March 1994 © RTE Pauline Finlay (49) from Co Wexford is missing since March 1994 Police in Wales have exhumed the body of a woman found on a beach in October 1994 and they "strongly believe" they are the remains of a woman who went missing in Wexford in March 1994.

Pauline Finlay, (49), who had a mobile holiday home at Old Bawn mobile home park near Cahore in Wexford disappeared on March 25, 1994 while walking her two dogs on Old Bawn beach.

In the following days and weeks, extensive searches were carried out on the water and along the coastline but no trace of her was ever found.

Now, according to RTÉ, the remains of an unidentified woman who washed up on the coast near Holyhead have been exhumed from a Welsh graveyard and they are believed to be those of Pauline Finlay.

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North Wales Police decided to review cases of unidentified remains in light of developments in DNA technology.

The North Wales Police contacted An Garda Siochana and obtained a DNA sample from the family last year.

In a statement on the North Wales Police website Dc Don Kenyon of North Wales Police who led today’s joint operation said: ‘The exhumation was preceded by a brief but moving graveside blessing from local priest Father Frank Murray. The exhumation was conducted with dignity and respect by all involved. 

"I’d like to extend my thanks to those who assisted including local undertakers, the Local Authority, my colleagues and the gathered media. I have spoken to Pauline’s family who are pleased that this aspect of returning her to them is now over.  I’d also like to pass on our thanks to the local community for their understanding and can now report access to the cemetery has returned to normality.

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DC Kenyon concluded. ‘Our hope is to complete this stage of proceedings as quickly and professionally as possible so we can begin the process of reuniting the remains with family to grant them all the dignity and comfort of a full funeral and mass service.’

The remains will now be examined by coroner for north west Wales Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones for formal identification but it is "strongly believed" they are those of Pauline Finlay.

Sadly Pauline's husband Joe died earlier this year.

Earlier this month, an 11-year mystery was solved when DNA technology confirmed that an unidentified body found on a Louth beach was in fact that of missing Dublin man Joseph Reilly.

Mr Reilly had been living on Hatch Street in Dublin when he vanished in December 2006.

In June 2007, a body washed up on Rockmarshall Beach in Louth.

The remains were buried in the local cemetery and the grave was tended by members of the community over the years.

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A recent initiative by gardai to gather DNA samples from family members of missing persons and check them against unidentified remains is reported to have led to this breakthrough.

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