Belfast Telegraph

Garda searching loughs for Northern Ireland father missing since 2002

Gortnawinney Lough in Clones, which is being searched
Gortnawinney Lough in Clones, which is being searched
Tony Lynch's daughter Mary
Tony Lynch's son Peter
Tony Lynch's wife Angela
Tony Lynch, who went missing in 2002
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Fresh searches are being carried out for a local man who went missing in the Republic 18 years ago.

Michael Anthony Lynch, also known as Tony, was last seen on Fermanagh Street in the Co Monaghan town of Clones on Sunday, January 6, 2002.

The 54-year-old father-of-four was reported missing to Garda almost a week later.

Born in Newtownbutler in Co Fermanagh, Mr Lynch had been working in Co Cavan at the time.

When he failed to turn up for work his family became concerned for his welfare and raised the alarm.

Mr Lynch had moved from Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh, to a flat in Clones two months before he went missing.

The investigation into his disappearance remains ongoing and to date Mr Lynch and his car - a white Mitsubishi Galant with the registration number TIL 4670 - have not been located.

The Garda says the purpose of the renewed searches, which began yesterday, is to establish if his car may have been submerged at one of the search locations.

The operation, which started at Gortnawinney Lough near Clones, includes the use of a drone to guide police and Civil Defence volunteers.

Yesterday afternoon the search moved on to Drum Lough, around 10 miles away. Around 16 loughs and some quarries in the local area are to be examined, with the possibility of further searches taking place in Co Fermanagh.

The search is being carried out with cross-border co-operation and a member of the PSNI will be present in Clones during the operation.

The Garda says it is looking to speak to anyone who may have seen Mr Lynch's car on the day he was last sighted, and any landowners who may have noticed a car abandoned on lands or submerged in waters.

A possible sighting of Mr Lynch in Co Clare back in 2016 came to nothing.

Speaking on RTE One's Crimecall last year, Mr Lynch's wife Angela recalled the day she went to his flat and realised he was missing.

"Every single thing he owned was in that flat," she said.

"It was like he just went out to the shop and just didn't come back."

Mrs Lynch added that her husband is always on the family's mind and in their hearts.

She continued: "I just want to find Tony for my children.

"This is their daddy, this is the person they loved very much.

"They will always look for their daddy, just like I want to find my husband, that will never change.

"All we want is the right to find him and to bring him home, that's all we want."

A Garda spokesperson said yesterday: "Gardai investigating this missing person case have exhausted a number of leads and at this point are renewing their appeal for information."

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