Volunteer divers find car in water off pier in Crosshaven

Find may be linked to 23-year-old man who disappeared without trace nearly 20 years ago

Crosshaven in Co Cork. Photograph: Getty Images

Crosshaven in Co Cork. Photograph: Getty Images

 

The missing man who may be linked to the car found off Hugh Coveney pier is Barry Coughlan (23) of Crosshaven, Co Cork who disappeared in May 2004.

Last seen outside the Moonduster Bar, Crosshaven between 1.30am and 2am on Saturday morning May 1st, 2004, his car -,a rust coloured Toyota Corolla with the licence plate 98 C 18625 - was parked nearby.

The car was not accounted for after Mr Coughlan disappeared without trace.

At the time of his disappearance he was working as a fisherman. He should have been back in Castletownbere for work on May 2nd, 2004. His disappearance was completely out of character.

He was last seen wearing a navy hooded top with “ Old Navy” logo on the front, blue wrangler jeans and blue runners with beige trim and the “Sketchers” logo.

At the time of his disappearance he was described as being 6ft 1in tall, with black hair, blue eyes and a slim build.

Whilst gardaí have not made any formal comment it is understood that the car discovered in Crosshaven matches the make and model of Mr Coughlan’s car and that a partial registration match has been made.

A picture of Barry Coughlan previously issued by Gardaí during an appeal for information.
A picture of Barry Coughlan previously issued by Gardaí during an appeal for information.

Mr Coughlan’s relatives and friends have continued to make appeals in relation to his disappearance over the years.

Last year Deliveroo partnered with the National Missing Persons Helpline for their Bring Them Home campaign, which aims to reunite friends and families with their missing loved ones.

For the month of December, Deliveroo riders featured images of five missing people on their bags in an effort to raise awareness of their cases.

Mr Coughlan was among the five people chosen to appear on the bags.

Earlier, volunteer divers found the remains of a car in waters off the pier in Crosshaven.

The discovery of the car hidden by silt and mud was made on Wednesday by members of Cork Missing Persons Search and Recovery Group, who were using sonar technology during a training exercise on a rib.

It is believed the car may have belonged to the local man who went missing in 2004. A search was conducted after he went missing in the early hours of May 1st, 2004, but nothing was then found.

His family have now been alerted by gardaí, and some were on the pier on Wednesday evening. The car is in very poor condition. Garda divers have travelled to Crosshaven to help retrieve it, but recovery could take time because of its brittle nature.

Chris O’Donoghue, of the Cork Missing Persons Search and Recovery Group, said they had gone out in a rib with Starfish sonar in operation when the unexpected discovery occurred.

He said the group have long had the missing man in their thoughts, and had previously conducted searches for him in a bid to bring his remains back to his family for a proper burial. Gardaí were immediately alerted.

“We had planned to search the sea around Crosshaven but found the car close to the pier. Mud, sand and silt moves with the sea movements, and we were lucky in our search,” he told reporters.