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Mary Boyle- Ireland's Oldest Missing Child Case


*Missing- 3-18-1977 Cashelard (Remote Townland) Outside Ballyshannon in Co Donegal
*Date Of Birth- 6-14-1970
*Ireland's National Police Case Number- IRGSMK1
*Has a twin sister Ann Doherty. Together with film maker Gemma O'Doherty and Irish singing sensation Margo O'Donnell have lobbied to bring the ONLY suspect in their eyes to justice. With no results.
*Mother-Anne Boyle-Early on in the investigation and in subsequent years wanted to know what had happened to her daughter. Even pointed out inconsistencies in her brothers story. Has since nearly washed her hands of the matter.
*Father died in 2005 in a "mysterious boating accident".
*Disappeared from her grandparent's house while following her Uncle (Who was returning a ladder) to a neighbor's house. (The Cawley's) The neighbors lived by all accounts around 400 or so yards away.

*Ann Doherty (Sister)

“Six-year-old Mary Boyle had been at her grandparents’ house in Cashelard, a remote and boggy townland outside Ballyshannon, where the extended family had lunch. Her uncle, Gerry Gallagher, was the last person to see her alive after she walked back to her grandparent’s house but never made it there.”

*The Main Suspect and only logical suspect. GERRY GALLAGHER

*According to her Uncle at around 3:45pm on March 18, 1977 Mary started to follow her Uncle to the Cawley's residence when they reached a water filled patch. He told her to turn back. By all accounts it should've taken her around 5 or so minutes. Gerry returned at 4:30pm.
*Gerry Gallagher was the last to see her alive.
*Has given multiple inconsistent statements regarding the days events.
*According to her mother Mary went missing or she noticed her missing at around 4:20.
*When mother noticed Mary missing. GERRY DIDN'T MENTION SHE HAD FOLLOWED HIM THAT DAY. He then later changed his story and then mentioned the part with her following him. For what reason is unknown. From what I've read about the guy. He isn't the brightest crayon in the box.


According to her mother during the initial investigation:


*Gerry went into the direction of the Cawley house after mother went into a panic after realizing Mary went missing.

*Mary was not reported missing until about 6:30. And that was due in large part to Gerry himself. (Interesting huh?) Upon being asked to call the police by Anne. He informed her to do it. Hence the delay since the mom was out looking for Mary. The police were later informed by two fishermen in the area. Anne came upon them and asked if they had seen Mary. Both stated they had not and that she should call the police. (They informed police)

*Both Retired- Sgt Aiden Murray and Detective Martin Collins who were investigating the disappearance of Mary Boyle in 1977. Both of whom had alleged that there was some political interference involved in the investigation. Both have since backpedaled on those statements. The statements can be seen and heard in Gemma O'Doherty's film. According to both a call came into the Police Station during the investigation stating that no one from the family would be considered a suspect or questioned.

*Mr Murray said: “The result of that phone call is that certain people weren’t allowed to be interviewed and it was all hands off. The sting went out of the whole investigation after that.”

*Mr Collins, who was in Ballyshannon Garda station, when the phone call came through confirmed: “The gist of it [the phone call] was that none of a particular family should be made suspect for Mary’s interference.”

The call according to them was from a "Prominent Politician" in Donegal. That politician being Sean McEniff. It should be noted that no evidence has been provided to confirm the call ever came in to the station.

UPDATE: Sean McEniff has passed away as of 4/21/2017. Since that time Murray has actually come forward and stated it was in fact McEniff himself that called the station and informed them that Gerry Gallagher not be questioned.

McEniff's statement on the Mary Boyle case-

(Interesting statement @ 3:10 btw)

Then Superintendent Dominic Murray of Bollyshannon has been accused of aiding in the coverup. (Dominic Murray passed away on 10/29/2014) According to reports Murray and Sean McEniff were close friends.



*Detective Martin Collins stated that about a week after Mary went missing and requested a meeting. "A PERSON WHO WOULD'VE BEEN KNOWN TO MARY". They met inside their car. And the person began to cry and told the detective "WHAT A TERRIBLE THING THAT HAD HAPPENED", and that he was "VERY FOND OF THEM", (The twins)  "LOVED THEM", and that "HE HAD CHILDREN OF THE SAME AGE". The person ended up being Gerry's brother according to Detective Collins.

*Ms Doherty said the killer was a sex abuser who wanted to cover up his activities. “Mary had a secret and because Mary was feisty, Mary would have told. Mary had to be killed to stop her from telling. I believe that Mary was sexually assaulted. That was the secret.”
*Mr Collins said he had come to the same impression after years of thinking about the case. “Looking back on it over the years, I would say yes.”
*Aidan Murray said he and another garda interviewed the chief suspect in Ballyshannon Garda station.
*He told the documentary: “At one stage when I was interviewing him, I said to him, ‘just tell us where the child is’. I got a little nudge from the inspector at the time to ease off a little bit and I did. I went out to get him a glass of water at the instruction of the inspector."
*Since then no charges have been brought upon the only and most logical suspect in the case.

*Officials have tried to connect a few people to the case as possible suspects. One is serial killer Robert Black. 

Bryan McMahon was another one they tried to pin it on.....

However, They have not been able to connect any suspects to the location and time of Mary Boyle's disappearance. 

That's the gist of the story. Ill link some articles for additional details. The most important details I believe I have covered in this blog entry. I highly recommend watching the documentary. It comes as far as it could to telling you who the main suspect is. From what I understand they didn't completely come out and say it due to it being NOT good for the case if it does in some way end up happening. However I'm not holding my breath. 

On the above Reddit thread link. Pay close attention to "OranBHoy". He apparently is a cousin of Mary. The link below is to a Websleuth thread. Pay attention to "Justice4MaryBoyle". I believe "OranBHoy" & "Justice4MaryBoyle" are one and the same.

A few other details:

*Ann Doherty was apparently harassed by 2 local policeman upon trying to reignite the investigation
*The mother (Anne Boyle) does not approve of her daughter Ann's "Carrying On" as she puts it regarding the attention she is bringing to the case. Which is in stark contrast to her stance 20+ years ago. She believes it can be done "quietly". She also does not support an inquest being done now. Or even after she passes.
*Margo O'Donnell was informed of the killer's identity on 2 separate occasions.
*There has been a long history of corruption in Donegal. (From local officials. And it appears to stretch out from the local government to the federal government as well)
*Margo O'Donnell requested maps of the local area where Mary "vanished". And was denied.
*There was an "eyewitness" named PJ Coughlin who claims to have seen Gerry searching for Mary the day she disappeared. He claimed to have seen Mary being put in a red volkswagen beetle and driven off.



 Pretty obvious who did it. No doubt in my mind. Gerry Gallagher. Not only did he fail to initially mention she followed him while he was returning the ladder. He didn't want to call the police either. Which coincidentally bought him a few hours to most likely hide the body of the poor girl. If we can take Detective Collins at his word. And believe the story in which a relative "Who would've been known to Mary" met with him inside their car and basically confessed for the killer. That pretty much sums it up. Not only that but it seems like they were close to a confession when they were questioning Gerry before the call came in from the local politician. (Of which that particular event seems to have "been taken out of context" now according to both retired Murray and Collins.) Cashelard is fairly remote. Not a lot of people in that area. Looks as if its 2,740 acres. The population is very small as well. Some 2504 people there currently. (In Bollyshannon) Not sure what the population would be 40+ years ago.  I do not believe that she left of her own volition. I do not believe she is still alive today unfortunately. I do not subscribe to the serial killer theory either. (McMahon and/or Black) Everything points to Gallagher. So basically this POS needs to be put away for whats left of his worthless life. If I had just 10 minutes alone with this piece of trash. I'd get the confession and everything else. The girl deserves a proper burial and the family needs closure. If anyone deserves to be buried out there in a marshland its this guy. Not an innocent 6 year old girl. May this SOB be brought to justice and may he rot in hell for eternity afterwards.


  1. Yes Oranbhoy04 & Justice4MaryBoyle is indeed the same person - me.. I would like to ask that the previous commnenters name of the suspect be removed because here in Ireland if we do get him to trial then he can use the naming of him online as a defence sayiing his trial was prejudiced , thank you for this very well informed and written blog , I would like to make a few corrections, Margo was informed between 1980 & 2011 of the killers identity numnerous times , and whilst the last bit about the eyewitness Pj Coughlin saying he had seen a red VW Beetle that day , he only added this to his statement 14 years after Mary went missing and after the other eyewitness had died , they had both originally only reported 3 cars , one of which was the uncles, the other 2 was also accounted for ..for our social media account go to -

  2. Thank you for the kind words and the comment. You'll notice that I didn't put much validity to PJ Coughlin as I put eyewitness in parenthesis. I don't buy it. I can comply with the request. In the film it shows him being interviewed years after. And they identified him by name. But never stated he was the suspect if I recall correctly. How would you wish me to comply? I will comply with the request. If you can email me with ideas as to correct my blog entry while at the same time not altering it completely I would appreciate it. Thank you again


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