Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher says he is not politician linked to Mary Boyle case

TD responds to allegations on social media, says he was not involved in politics at that time

Mary Boyle was 6 years of age  when she went missing on March 18th, 1977  near Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

Mary Boyle was 6 years of age when she went missing on March 18th, 1977 near Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

 

Fianna Fáil TD Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher has said he is not the Fianna Fáil politician alleged to have influenced the investigation into the disappearance of Mary Boyle almost 40 years ago.

Speaking on Donegal’s Highland radio on Thursday, Mr Gallagher said that despite allegations on social media, he was not involved in the investigation into the missing girl.

Retired sergeant Martin Collins and former detective sergeant Aidan Murray spoke on Mary Boyle: The Untold Story documentary, which was recently broadcast on YouTube about the disappearance of Mary Boyle in 1977, that there was political interference in the investigation into the missing girl.

They told reporter Gemma O’Doherty the chief suspect in the case could have been prosecuted had a phone call from an unnamed Fianna Fáil politician not been made to Ballyshannon Garda station during the investigation.

Mr Gallagher pointed out this week he was working in the fishing industry in 1977 and not involved in politics at the time.

The Mary Boyle documentary claims the politician allegedly involved knew the chief suspect and also deceased superintendent Dominic Murray, who was in charge of the case.

Mary was last seen alive in the afternoon of March 18th, 1977. She was playing outside her grandparent’s home in Cashelard, Co Donegal, when she disappeared.

Aidan Murray said he and another garda interviewed the chief suspect in Ballyshannon Garda station.

He told the documentary: “At one stage when I was interviewing him, I said to him, ‘just tell us where the child is’. I got a little nudge from the inspector at the time to ease off a little bit and I did.

“I went out to get him a glass of water at the instruction of the inspector.”

Mr Murray said: “The result of that phone call is that certain people weren’t allowed to be interviewed and it was all hands off. The sting went out of the whole investigation after that.”

Ms Doherty says in the documentary that the killer was a sex abuser who wanted to cover up his activities.

“Mary had a secret and because Mary was feisty, Mary would have told. Mary had to be killed to stop her from telling. I believe that Mary was sexually assaulted. That was the secret.”

Mr Collins said he had come to the same impression after years of thinking about the case. “Looking back on it over the years, I would say yes.”

He also warned that the killer, who is still alive, remains a danger to other children.