July 25, 2021

Discovery of missing Wicklow man’s remains on Welsh island ‘a bolt from the blue’, say family

The brother of a Wicklow man who was missing for 36 years has described the recent discovery of his remains on a windswept island off the coast of Wales as “a bolt from the blue”.

Conor Whooley’s remains had lain in the grave since his body washed ashore on Anglesey in October 1983.

His brother Sean told RTÉ that news of where he now lies came as a “bolt from the blue”.

In the first five or so years of his disappearance, the family had expected to get a call about him. His father had died in 2015 never knowing what had happened to his son.

As soon as the family was told Conor had been identified, they put a plaque on his grave. It reads: “Conor Whooley, Ireland, 1959-1983. A loved soul is never lost”.

Detective Constable Don Kenyon, of North Wales Police’s Force Major Incident Team tasked with identifying the bodies of missing people, was with the Whooley family in Wales this week.

They visited the beach where he was found all those years ago as well as Conor’s grave.

“It’s very personal, so there is not much I can tell you but I think they found it very valuable,” he said.

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