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Six years later, gardaí now treating case of missing Leitrim man Pat Heeran as murder

A Sinn Féin TD alleged that senior gardaí had said Heeran “would just turn up drunk somewhere”.

Pat Heeran has been missing for nearly six years.
Pat Heeran has been missing for nearly six years.
Image: An Garda Síochana

GARDAÍ ARE TO launch a new appeal for information in the case of missing Leitrim man Pat Heeran, after saying that it is now being dealt with as a murder investigation.

The 48-year-old was last seen in Mohill, Co Leitrim at 4.20pm on 3 October 2011. He was reported missing to gardaí on 14 October.

He is described as being 5’9″, of stocky build with fair hair.

When last seen, he was wearing brown shoes, blue jeans and a brown jacket.

The Defence Forces are assisting gardaí in the search.

Tomorrow, gardaí will hold a media briefing and renew their appeal for information related to the case.

Allegations

Speaking in the Dáil last year, Sinn Féin TD Martin Kenny made a series of allegations against garda malpractice in the Sligo-Leitrim area.

One claim related to the case of Pat Heeran.

“Around the time he was reported missing, there was a memo distributed to gardaí about a Pat from Leitrim having been abducted and killed,” Kenny said.

He claimed that senior gardaí dismissed the idea that “something sinister” had happened upon searching Heeran’s home and instead told gardaí “to make the usual inquiries and [that] he would turn up drunk somewhere”.

The Sinn Féin TD added: “After some time, when gardaí management finally agreed to seal off and examine the house, they found it had been burgled in the meantime and was therefore forensically violated for the purpose of evidence gathering.

There were also a number of individuals with links to Pat Heeran who the investigation team never even questioned – to the dismay of local gardaí. It is now known that a garda informant was among the last people to be in Pat Heeran’s company before he disappeared.

Kenny said that an important question to ask was if the protection of informants was put before the “proper investigation into the disappearance of Pat Heeran”.

Read: Gardaí ask for help tracing Leitrim man missing since 2011

Read: Gardaí seek help locating missing Leitrim man, 48

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Sean Murray

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