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Remains of Gussie Shanahan, who went missing 18 years ago, to be laid to rest this weekend

Last month, remains found in 2001 were confirmed as belonging to the missing 20 year-old.

PARTIAL REMAINS BELONGING to Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan – who was declared missing for the past 18 years – will be laid to rest next weekend.

Shanahan was 20 years-old when he was last seen alive on 11 February, 2000, after he exited Coopers Bar on St Joseph Street in Limerick and walked onto Old School House Lane.

Partial skeletal remains belonging to Gussie were discovered in October 2001, but it was not until last month that these were confirmed as belonging him.

Gardaí said identification of the remains was finally made possible through improved DNA technology. 

According to an obituary notice published on rip.ie, his funeral mass will take place at 1pm in Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Ennis Road, Limerick this Saturday, 10 November.

“To mark the passing of Aengus (Gussie) Shanahan, Ashbrook, Ennis Road, Limerick who has been missing since the 11 February 2000 and after 18 years of searching is finally being laid to rest,” the notice states.

“Beloved son of Bob and the late Nancy (Tuohy) Shanahan, adored brother of Roibeard and sisters Grainne and Reiltin, brothers-in-law Gordon and David, sister-in-law Edwina, nephews Conor, Jack and Dylan and nieces Emily and Annie, extended family and friends.”

“May he finally Rest In Peace.”

‘Struggling’

“The family will be at the church from 12pm. Private burial for family and relatives only. Family flowers only. Donations, if desired, to Limerick and Bunratty Search and Rescue.”

The funeral notice has requested the media “to respect the Shanahans privacy at this difficult time”.

Members of Bunratty Search and Rescue Service discovered the partial remains at Quay Island, Bunratty, Co Clare, on 28 October, 2001.

Over the years, search and rescue crews in the region combed the River Shannon and Shannon Estuary for Shanahan’s body.

Speaking following the DNA breakthrough in the case last month, Bob Shanahan, Gussie’s father, remarked how the “surreal” news had struck his family “like a thunderbolt”.

“I’m struggling through it. It’s a mixture of joy and sadness. Sadness because it means that (Aengus) is dead; and joy, because we now have some closure,” he said.

“It’s something we have wanted all along.”

Prior to her death in 2016, Nancy Shanahan – Gussie’s mother – appealed for information about the whereabouts of her missing son.

At the time, she added: ”I miss him everyday. I’d love to know where he is before I die.”

Bob Shanahan said his wife “was always of the view that (Gussie) was dead”.

Murdered

“She also used to say to me, ‘you’d think our dead (relatives) would tell us somehow where he was’.”

“When she passed away, I said to her, ‘it’s you’re turn now Nancy’, and, she has delivered (Gussie).”

“We always wanted to find his body, and now we can give him a Christian burial.”

Shanahan said it was his belief that Gussie was murdered. 

Gardaí have begun a complete review of the investigation into Gussie’s disappearance, which they hope to complete before the end of this year.

Despite this review, and until any possible new evidence suggests otherwise, gardaí are continuing to keep an open mind as to what happened to Gussie.

Bob Shanahan has made a fresh appeal for information about the circumstances surrounding Gussie’s disappearance.

A definitive conclusion “will give us rest,” he said.

Superintendent Eamon O’Neill, Roxboro Road garda station, said any information passed to gardaí would be treated in confidence.

“We continue to appeal for any information in relation to Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan.

“Anyone who has any information is asked to contact Roxboro Road Garda Station on 061-214340, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800-666-111 or any Garda Station,” Supt O’Neill added.

About the author:

David Raleigh

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