Car found in Lough Erne in search for man missing for 18 years

Gardaí believe car belonged to Michael ‘Tony’ Lynch, who disappeared in 2002

Michael ‘Tony’ Lynch: was reported missing on January 9th, 2002.

A car found submerged Lough Erne, Co Fermanagh on Monday is believed to belong to a man who went missing from Co Monaghan 18 years ago.

Michael ‘Tony’ Lynch, who was originally from Co Fermanagh but had been living in Clones, was reported missing on January 9th, 2002.

Gardaí have described the discovery of the car as a “significant development” in the investigation.

When last seen on January 6th, the 55-year-old was driving a white Mitsubishi Gallant, which had become the focus of the search.


The discovery came after members of the public uncovered what gardai described as an anomaly in the water on Monday. These men were aware of the gardai renewed an appeal for information regarding the location of Mr Lynch’s car earlier this year.The men contacted Clones Garda station.

Shortly after 2pm on Monday police divers carried out an underwater search of the lake and discovered that a car was submerged. The vehicle has been recovered for examination .

A cross-border search for Mr Lynch took place in January of this year with police on both sides of the Border joining 18 members of the civil defence from counties Meath, Monaghan and Cavan to coordinate the search as part of a renewed appeal into Mr Lynch’s disappearance.

Gardaí conducted searches across ten lakes in Co Monaghan but the inquiry was suspended in March 2020 following the outbreak of Covid-19.

Inspector Graham Tolan of Monaghan Garda station said he was grateful to the members of the public who got in touch about the vehicle in the lake, underlining that any small piece of information “can prove vital” in a case.

He said gardaí would continue to investigate missing person cases “for as long as it takes”

Gardaí are working with police in Lisnaskea in Co Fermanagh who are investigating and a Garda family liaison officer is in contact with Mr Lynch's family.

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak

Sorcha Pollak is an Irish Times reporter and cohost of the In the News podcast