Disappearance of Mary Boyle to come under fresh spotlight

by Louise Doyle

“AND just before dinner time Mary said to me, ‘mum I forgot to kiss you this morning’, and she threw her arms around me and gave me a kiss. Little did I know that it was the last one.”

Those are the words of Ann Boyle, when she talks about the disappearance of her daughter Mary Boyle 46 years ago in tonight’s social series of ‘Scannal’.


Mary Boyle is Ireland’s longest missing person.

The six-year-old vanished from her grandparents’ remote farm in Cashelard, south Donegal on March 18, 1977.

Despite decades of searching and investigations, no trace of the little girl has ever been found.

The schoolgirl’s disappearance resulted in one of the largest searches ever seen in Ireland.

Hundreds of local people, soldiers, gardaí and divers searched for Mary for weeks, but not a single trace was ever found of the little girl.

For decades there have been rumours and insinuation about what might have happened to little Mary, but 46 years later, her family are still looking for answers.

In the second episode of the current series of Scannal tonight, Mary’s mother and her twin sister reflect on the disappearance of a beloved daughter and sister and the impact it has had, and continues to have, on the family.


They speak about the shock of her disappearance, the heartache of not knowing what happened to her and their constant hope of one day finding Mary.

Ann Doherty appealed for anyone with information on the disappearance of her twin sister to come forward.

“If someone has any information at all, they may think it is of no importance, but it could be the final piece of the jigsaw that we need to find Mary’s body and for them to put an end to this torture for my family.”

Anyone with information about Mary Boyle’s disappearance can contact Ballyshannon Garda station on 0719858530.

The four-part series continues on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player tonight at 7pm.

Scannal looks back at events which shocked, gripped or consumed the nation, piecing together archive, analysis and first-hand testimony to reflect, with the benefit of hindsight, on those events and examine how they impacted the people involved, and wider society.

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