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Can you help identify a victim from the 1968 Aer Lingus plane crash?

45 years after the crash, the 14th and final body to be recovered has finally had a DNA profile created for it.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

A DNA BREAKTHROUGH may lead to the identification of a body recovered following the 1968 Air Lingus air disaster in which 61 people died.

RTÉ’s Prime Time has revealed that a DNA profile has now been established and a search is under way to identify the victim.

Aer Lingus Flight 712 crashed off Tuskar Rock in Co Wexford on 24 March 1968. All 57 passengers and 4 crew on board were killed. The cause of the crash has never been established.

Of the 57 passengers, 35 were Irish, nine were Swiss, six were from Belgium, five were British, and two were American.

Bodies recovered

Only 14 bodies were ever recovered from the scene of the crash. While the first 13 were identified and returned to their families for burial, the 14th (a male) that was recovered weeks later has up until now remained unidentified.

The body was subsequently buried at an Aer Lingus plot at Crosstown Cemetery in Co Wexford.

In 2000, it was exhumed at the request of Jerome McCormick, whose brother Neill was on board the ill-fated flight.

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While a DNA profile could not be established at the time, a leading laboratory in England – Cellmark Laboratory – has now been able to establish a Y-STR profile from a tissue sample taken from the body.

McCormick told Prime Time that the news should help bring closure for one of the families. “It may be Neill who rests in this grave or it may be one of the other men,” he said.

I feel for the other families. I am satisfied that after all this time someone has found their relative.

The search is now on to find the families of those males who died in the air crash so that their DNA can be compared with that of the body. Those who may have information about these families are asked to contact McCormick on jeromemccormick95@yahoo.com.

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About the author:

Paul Hyland

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