Human remains found in nets of trawler fishing off Cork coast

Gardaí liaising with French and Spanish police after documentation discovered in clothing

A file image showing trawlers in Castletownbere in Co Cork. Photograph: Getty

A file image showing trawlers in Castletownbere in Co Cork. Photograph: Getty

 

Gardaí in Cork are liaising with French and Spanish police following the discovery of human remains by a French trawler fishing off the Irish coast at the weekend.

Gardaí were alerted on Sunday when a French trawler, Rio da Bouza docked at Castletownbere and its captain reported the discovery of human remains in his nets while fishing on Saturday afternoon.

It is understood the remains consisted of a torso from the waist down and had been found in the nets when the trawler was fishing some 180 nautical miles of the Cork coast between Cork and Cornwall.

The remains were brought to Cork University Hospital where Assistant State Pathologist, Dr Margot Bolster on Tuesday carried out a postmortem, including taking DNA samples to try and identify the remains.

It is understood that the remains were clothed and gardai found some documentation in the clothing contained within a waterproof pouch tied to the torso which may help them identify the remains.

Gardaí are now liaising through Interpol with French and Spanish police to try and establish if anyone of the name found on the documentation went missing while fishing from a French or Spanish trawler.

If it transpires that someone of that name has gone missing from a fishing vessel or some other ship, then it is expected gardai will ask the local police force to contact his family to obtain a DNA sample.

Gardaí would then hope that scientists at the Forensic Science Ireland would be able to match.