Belfast Telegraph

Garda ends search for Tyrone GP's body

By David Young

Police in the Republic investigating the disappearance of a Tyrone-born GP 10 years ago say they have completed a new search without making any significant discoveries.

Dr Deirdre O'Flaherty, who was also known by her maiden name of Deirdre Donnelly, was reported missing in 2009 when her BMW car was found abandoned at Kinnego in Inishowen, Co Donegal.

Dr O'Flaherty had been staying with her family at a holiday home near Moville in the county.

She had a history of depression.

Despite an extensive air and sea search, her body was never found.

Three years after the mother-of-three's disappearance the High Court in Belfast ruled that the 46-year-old was dead. Garda began a fresh land search and excavation earlier this week in the Milford area of Donegal.

However, yesterday it said the operation had concluded with nothing further being found. It added: "Gardai investigating the disappearance of Deirdre O'Flaherty have completed their search operation at the site in Milford Garda District, Co Donegal. An Garda Siochana wish to thank the public for their patience during the operation.

"Unfortunately, nothing that furthers the search for Deirdre was located during the search.

"Today is also the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Deirdre and our thoughts are with her family and friends, and it is requested that the privacy of her family is respected at this time."

This week's search was triggered by a letter was sent to police claiming to pinpoint the exact location of the remains.

Searches were carried out by members of the Donegal divisional search team and Garda technical bureau, along with private contractors.

The site, located between Rathmullan and Kerrykeel, is on private property and remains closed to the public.

The Garda renewed its appeal for anyone who may have information about Dr O'Flaherty's disappearance to contact them at Buncrana on 074 9320540, or via its confidential line on 1800 666 111.

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