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Remains of Kilkenny mother-of-two murdered in 1984 have been exhumed

Marie Tierney was found strangled on 21 December 1984.

Marie Tierney
Marie Tierney
Image: An Garda Síochána

Updated Oct 31st 2018, 5:35 PM

THE REMAINS OF Marie Tierney have been exhumed in Kilkenny today, 34 years after the mother-of-two was found murdered.

Tierney was reported missing on 22 October 1984 by her husband. She had left their house at Clintstown, Jenkinstown, Kilkenny, the evening before at around 10.30pm in the family car, a Renault 18 Estate with a registration number of 35-HIP. She did not return. 

An investigation by local gardaí located the car the following day. 

However, while a number of searches were conducted by gardaí and members of Tierney’s family and friends, she could not be located.

Tierney’s body was found in a ditch on the Bleach Road, Kilkenny two months later on 21 December. She had been strangled.

To date, over 500 lines of investigative enquiry have been opened and over 200 witness statements have been recorded. There have been no arrests to date for her murder. 

Speaking to Crimecall on RTÉ One last year, Marie’s sister Breda said she still feels the impact of her death.

“My sister was violently murdered 33 years ago…and her body was found eight weeks later in a ditch,” Breda said.

She described her sister as “devoted to her children” and said that “there’s no such thing as a perfect parent but she was as close as you could get”.

The body of Marie Tierney was exhumed this morning at Conahy graveyard in Kilkenny, and taken for examination to Waterford University Hospital.

Gardaí have confirmed that the examination is now complete and her body had been re-interred. Gardaí liaised closely with her family throughout the process.

Appeal

Gardaí are appealing for any member of the public who may have seen anyone walking or cycling at or near Newpark/Newpark Fenn, Kilkenny on the night of 21 October 1984 to come forward.

They are also appealing to anyone who may have seen someone walking or cycling or any vehicles, including the Renault 18 35-HIP, on or near the Bleach Road, Kilkenny on the same night to come forward.

People who have not yet made themselves known to gardaí or who, for whatever reason, were unable to make themselves available to gardaí at the material time, are being appealed to by the gardaí.

“With the passage of time relationships may have changed or circumstances may have changed which may enable persons to come forward with information to gardaí that they may not have done previously,” gardaí said in a statement.

Time may have given context to something they felt was unimportant at the time but may be of assistance to the investigation. 

“We have previously had great assistance from the public in Kilkenny in relation to similar serious crimes. We wish to thank the community at large and the media for their assistance then and we again seek their help in this case.” 

People who may have information are being asked to contact An Garda Síochána in Kilkenny on 056 777 5000 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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