June 15, 2021

Wicklow man missing for 36 years identified in Welsh grave

The body of a Wicklow man who has been missing for 36 years has been identified in a grave in Wales.

Conor Whooley was just 24 when he vanished in Dublin in August 1983. He was one of a family of seven, originally from Greystones, Co Wicklow.

For the last 36 years, Conor’s family have wondered what had happened to him.

Publicity about a previously solved case led to Conor’s body finally being discovered.

His mother was watching RTÉ’s Crime Call programme two years ago and saw an appeal being made by gardaí for the families of all long-term missing people to give DNA samples which could then be compared with unidentified bodies in Ireland, Britain and abroad.

Operation Runabay, led by the Garda Missing Persons Bureau and Forensic Science Ireland, has led to the successful identification of a number of unidentified bodies both at home and in Britain.

Detectives and scientists linked up with police in north Wales, who have been running a similar investigation on the other side of the Irish Sea, called Operation Orchid, to solved three long-term missing person cases – all Irish citizens who for decades lay buried unidentified in graveyards in Wales, including that of Conor Whooley.


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