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Dundalk bog land searched in case of Ciara Breen, who vanished in 1997

Forensic investigators are scouring bog land in Dundalk as part of an 18-year-old search for a missing teenage girl.

Ciara Breen, 17, vanished from her Bachelor's Walk home in the Co Louth town, where she lived with her mother Bernadette, in the early hours of February 13, 1997.

It is believed she left the house to meet someone after they went to bed that night and left a window open to climb back in. But she was never again seen.

Last year, her mother made a fresh appeal for information on the whereabouts of her only child.

Around the same time, two anonymous letters were passed to investigating gardai regarding the disappearance.

Superintendent Gerard Curley, from Dundalk Garda Station, said fresh information since the appeals has resulted in a number of lines of inquiry.

"One line of inquiry is a search in an area known as Balmer's Bog, which is a marshland area just off the Ardee Road in Dundalk," he added.

"The search is being carried out by the Dundalk search team, assisted by the sub aqua (unit) and also members from the (Garda) Technical Bureau.

"They are equipped with specialist equipment to search for missing persons."

The search of the 16 acre site, the most extensive undertaken as part of the investigation into the teenager's disappearance, is expected to take weeks.

Earlier this year in April, investigating gardai arrested a man in in his 50s from Dundalk.

He was later released without charge while a file was prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

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