Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Arkinson family ask for more information from Gardai after body find

Arlene Arkinson disappeared after a night out in Co Donegal in the Republic in 1994 (PA)
Arlene Arkinson disappeared after a night out in Co Donegal in the Republic in 1994 (PA)
Kathleen Arkinson, whose sister Arlene vanished in 1994

The family of murdered Northern Ireland school girl Arlene Arkinson have appealed to Gardai to provide more information after a body was found in the Republic of Ireland.

The body of a man was uncovered in Sligo in June. The family of Arlene Arkinson - who went missing in 1995 - say they have been told there may have been more than one body uncovered and have appealed to the police to provide more information.

The 15-year-old from Castlederg, Co Tyrone, was last seen in the company of convicted child killer Robert Howard, who died in 2015. She had been out at a disco in Bundoran in Co Donegal on August 14.

In an anniversary appeal her sister Kathleen asked for Gardai to "co-operate" with the long-running inquest into the death which opened in February 2016.

"We would like the Garda to please confirm the exact number of bodies in that grave and if they were all examined," she said.

"We hold much reservation and doubt in relation to the recent events involving An Garda Siochana.

"Before the inquest resumes on the 4 September 2018, we would also like An Garda Siochana to explain what provoked the exhumation that they say they did carry out.

"We request that An Garda Siochana co-operate with Arlene's inquest and the lawyers acting for the coroner, in order ultimately to assist us and allay the suspicion and rumour we are dealing with on a daily basis in relation to Arlene's remains."

The PSNI at the request of the Coroner's office, has also asked Gardai for more details on the exhumation.

Sinn Fein MP Orfhlaith Begley also called on the Gardai to do more to assist the family.

Robert Howard died in prison in 2015 (Kent Police/PA)
Robert Howard died in prison in 2015 (Kent Police/PA)

“There are still many unanswered questions over the Sligo exhumation," she said.

“The Arkinson family have waited too long for the truth and should not have to put up with more obstacles being placed in their way."

An Garda Siochana has been approached for a response.

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