RELATIVES of Dr Deirdre
Donnelly O’Flaherty who disappeared ten years ago
have issued a statement questioning the “entirely
unexpected” garda decision to undertake a new search
for her remains last week.
The Tyrone-based GP has not been seen since January
11, 2009, when she is thought to have drowned in a
suspected suicide at Kinnego Bay, Inishowen.
However, gardaí began an excavation last week on
bogland near Milford, some 80km from her last known
The five-day search finished on Friday with nothing
linked to the doctor’s disappearance found.
The Donnelly and O'Flaherty families issued a joint
statement this weekend expressing concern about the
They described the recent events as an "ordeal" and
they’re seeking a meeting with gardaí to discuss how
the latest investigation came about.
"The families are relieved only because this ordeal
is over although in our view, the outcome was not in
"Notification that gardaí were going to carry out a
land search for Deirdre was entirely unexpected, not
least given that the finding by order of Judge
Deeney at Belfast High Court on the 12th of January
2012 that Deirdre had 'gone into the water and
drowned' was supported by the oral evidence of the
investigating garda sergeant.”
The statement continued: "The families had only
three days' advance notice of the gardaí excavations
near Milford, County Donegal and therefore had
little time to prepare for the consequences of the
very public, national exposure of this story during
The families said they had not seen the anonymous
note and map that purportedly showed the location of
the missing woman’s remains.