01 July 2005

Interviewees silent

Daily Ireland

By Conor McMorrow

Two people interviewed by gardaí after the discovery of the partially-clothed body of a woman on a remote Donegal beach in 2003 refused to give statements to gardaí, Daily Ireland has learned.
The body of Derry-based academic, poet and former member of the Irish Republican Socialist Party, Mary Reid, was discovered on the Isle of Doagh on the evening of January 29, 2003.
While gardaí treated Ms Reid’s death as suicide, her family have never been satisfied with the Garda investigation into her death and have now called on the force to re-open the case.
Daily Ireland has learned that the Reid family received a letter from the gardaí last week stating that two men “were interviewed by Garda Jason Lyons on June 12, 2003” and “both men declined to make statements”.
Ms Reid’s brother, Joseph Reid, said: “We are not calling for any gardaí to be sacked or anything like that. We just want them to investigate her death as we believe there were a number of inadequacies in the original investigation that did not emerge at the inquest.”
The inquest into the death of Mary Reid took place in Letterkenny Courthouse on September 5, 2003 and the Reid family believes that “the inquest left more questions unanswered than answered”.
At the inquest an open verdict of “death by drowning” was returned, in the words of the coroner “to allow further evidence to be brought forward”.
In the letter received by Ms Reid’s siblings, a Garda representative said: “I must state that after considering the evidence available at this stage there is nothing to substantiate the theory that there was foul play involved in Mary’s death.”
In response to this, Mr Reid said: “The letter states that there is no evidence of foul play in Mary’s death.
“However the point we have been making for the past few years is that a full investigation should be carried out to see if there is any evidence of foul play.”
The Reid family claim that their senior counsel, Patrick Gageby, established at Ms Reid’s inquest her body was removed from the location in which she was found without the body being preserved for forensic examination, and no forensic samples were taken at the site.
“The gardaí should have looked into Mary’s death to see if it was an accident, a homicide or a suicide. The fact that the scene was not preserved effectively closed the door to any forensic information being procured,” said Mr Reid.

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