Loughs searched in hunt for Northern Ireland father missing since 2002
Gardai investigating the disappearance of Northern Ireland man Tony Lynch 18 years ago believe they have uncovered his car from Lough Erne in Co Fermanagh.
They described the development as "significant" in their investigation and vowed to continue their search for Mr Lynch.
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.
At the start of the year gardai renewed their appeal for information on the disappearance.
On Monday members of the public on the shore noticed something strange in the water at Lough Erne.
They contacted Clones Garda Station and they along with PSNI officers carried out a dive at the site and found a car.
It is believed to be the white Mitsubishi Galant of Mr Lynch and has been taken for further examination.
As part of the renewed appeal into the disappearance searches were carried out at 10 lakes in Co Monaghan with PSNI searching areas across the border.
The searches were to continue and were to include lakes in and around the border region, however the searches were suspended in March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Inspector Graham Tolan of Monaghan Garda Station said: "An Garda Siochana will continue to investigate missing person’s cases for as long as it takes. In this case An Garda Siochana have been searching for Mr Lynch for 18 years.
"We are grateful to the members of the public who alerted us to this anomaly in the water. I’d like to remind the public that small pieces of information, no matter how insignificant they may seem, can often prove vital, as is the case today.
"We will continue to work with police in Lisnaskea who are investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery".
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."
Sinn Fein MLA Michelle Gildernew offered her support to the family of Tony Lynch and called for anyone with information to come forward.
"Tony went missing suddenly 18 years ago and his disappearance has caused unimaginable grief and stress to his family and the local community and the pursuit for information continues to this day," he said.
“I want to make an appeal to members of the public who may have any information on Tony’s disappearance, no matter how insignificant they may feel that it is, to immediately contact the Gardaí or the PSNI."
“I will proactively work with the police, community and the Lynch family to give them every ounce of my support in these difficult times."