‘Gussie’ Shanahan no longer frozen in time, funeral told

DNA used to confirm fragments of bone found in 2000 belong to missing Limerick man

Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan: disappeared, aged 20, on February 11th, 2000

Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan: disappeared, aged 20, on February 11th, 2000

 

The funeral of Aengus ‘Gussie’ Shanahan has heard he is “no longer frozen in time” from the day he disappeared more than 18 years ago.

Gardaí confirmed last month that, following improvements in DNA technology, fragments of bones discovered on the Shannon Estuary in 2001 belonged to Mr Shanahan who disappeared , aged 20, on February 11th, 2000.

Thousands of mourners packed into Our Lady of Rosary Church on the Ennis Road on Saturday, where Mr Shanahan’s cousin, Fr Aquinas Duffy, said the family had finally found some closure.

“There is a sense, when a person goes missing, for all of their family, that we are frozen in time, caught in that particular time period, unable to move beyond that day. Gussie is truly free,” said Fr Duffy, who set up the missing.ie website following his cousin’s disappearance.

“It’s been a long 18 years, searching for answers, making appeals, and desperately trying to get information that would bring the searching to an end. Finally Aengus can be given a Christian burial with his mother Nancy. ”

Members of Bunratty Search and Rescue Service, the volunteer unit that discovered Mr Shanahan’s partial skeletal remains, attended the emotional mass. Gardaí involved in the case, as well as search and rescue organisations, also attended, as did a number of families of other missing people.

Fr Duffy told those still searching for their loved ones to never give up hope.

Roibeard Shanahan described his younger brother as “good natured, friendly, loyal and hard working... the baby of our family who was adored by all of us”.