Gardaí renew appeal over 1997 murder of Galway taxi driver

Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy was fatally assaulted after taking a fare to Claregalway

Gardaí have renewed an appeal for information over the murder of a woman in Galway in November 1997.

Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy, a taxi driver, was fatally assaulted after she took a fare to Claregalway at about 8pm on the night of November 30th.

Her taxi was found at midnight that night with signs of violence. Her body was found the next day in the townland of Knockdoemore, outside Galway, 200m from the main road. She had been assaulted and murdered, but her killer has never been found.

Ms O’Shaughnessy (47), originally from Corofin in Co Galway, had started working at 8am that day, driving a Silver Toyota Carina with the registration 97-G-6663.


At 8pm she informed her taxi base that she was taking a fare to Claregalway; some 20 minutes later the taxi base attempted to contact her but received no answer, gardaí said.

At 9pm Ms O’Shaughnessy was due to meet the owner of the taxi in Galway to hand over the car and keys, but failed to show up as agreed. The last known contact with her was at 8pm, according to Garda information.

At this stage her colleagues “grew concerned for her whereabouts and searched the city for her taxi”.

Just before midnight, the taxi was discovered at Lydon house bakery on the Tuam Road in Galway, and a search of the area began.

On the morning of December 1st, 1997, her body was found at Tinkers Lane, Knockdoemore, just off the N17.

Speaking about the renewed appeal for information, Det Supt Shane Cummins said: “25 years on, An Garda Síochána continue to investigate this case. The investigation into the murder of Eileen Costello O’Shaughnessy continues to be a live investigation.

“We are conscious that we now live in a very different era to 1997, and now with that passage of time, people may feel more comfortable sharing information with us,” he said.

Gardaí are appealing for assistance on several aspects of the case:

– At about 8.30pm on the N17 close to Tinkers Lane a woman with blonde hair was seen walking in the direction of Galway against oncoming traffic. She was at the hard shoulder and appeared in a distracted state. This woman has never been identified.

– At 8.45pm, a motorist observed Ms O’Shaughnessy’s taxi, a silver Toyota Carina registration number 97-G-6663, driving erratically on the N17 towards Galway city. As the cars approached Leader’s Shop the motorist overtook the taxi and saw a man with a beard driving it. The taxi turned left at Lydon house bakery. The bearded man has never been identified.

– At about 9pm, a man was seen jumping down from a wall close to Lydon house bakery and walking toward Galway. He was wearing a green jacket and carrying a small canvas bag. This man has never been identified.

– Finally, a small red car was seen at 2am at Tinkers lane where Eileen’s body was found. The car had reversed up the laneway and had its parking lights on. The occupants of this car have never been identified.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact An Garda Síochána in Oranmore on 091-388030 or their local Garda station.

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson

Jade Wilson is a reporter for The Irish Times