Dublin hosts march for missing schoolgirl Mary Boyle

Six-year-old disappeared in Cashelard, outside Ballyshannon, Co Donegal in 1977

A march to highlight the case of missing schoolgirl Mary Boyle was held in Dublin city centre on Saturday afternoon.

The march, which was attended by close to 100 people, aimed to publicise the case of the six-year-old who disappeared from near her grandparents home in Cashelard, outside Ballyshannon, Co Donegal almost 40 years ago in 1977.

Claims have since been made that she was being sexually abused by a man known to the family and that she was killed and her remains concealed to cover-up the abuse.

There have been further allegations that the garda investigation was hampered by political interference.

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Marchers carried white and purple balloons, the same colours worn by Mary on the day of her disappearance, and tied purple ribbon along the route.

The march was attended by people from across the country though the majority were from Dublin and Donegal including Mary's twin sister Ann Doherty.

One of the organisers of the march, Dubliner Derek Byrne said the event was aimed at giving those who were unable to attend a recent vigil in Ballyshannon a chance to show their support in Dublin.

“There are people here who would like to see that those responsible for Mary’s disappearance come forward now, provide the answers and have her body returned so she can have a decent burial,” he said.

Several marchers also carried placards calling for justice in other cases such as victims of Magdalene Laundries.

Earlier this month, more than 500 people attended the march in Ballyshannon, which was orgnaised by local resident Naomi Brady.