Gareth O’Connor murder investigation: 16,000 pages of evidence uncovered

Declan McAteer Posted by
Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Mr O'Connor's body was recovered near Victoria Lock

An investigation into the death of a man whose body was found in Newry Canal will examine up to 16,000 pages of evidence. Gareth O’Connor disappeared when travelling to Dundalk garda station in 2003, with the family of the man believing he was abducted and killed by the Provisional IRA.

Detectives responding to a tip-off recovered Mr O’Connor’s blue Volkswagen Golf from a section of the Newry Canal, with the 24 year old’s body inside. Mr O’Connor was travelling to Dundalk garda station, where he was required to regularly report as part of his bail conditions. The south Armagh man was on bail having been charged with Real IRA membership in the Republic of Ireland.

A preliminary hearing of the inquest in to Mr O’Connor’s death was held in Belfast. Paul Dougan, a solicitor for the family said, “The document page count is colossal, maybe 15-16,000 pages of material has been printed out, a lot of it is not hugely relevant but it is a huge exercise to familiarise yourself with its contents and that process is ongoing.”

The solicitor’s examination of the evidence should be complete by Easter. Police Ombudsman Al Hutchinson has finalised a draft report on the death of Mr O’Connor, although a representative for the Ombudsman said the final report would not be completed before the end of the inquest.

You can view Gareth O’Connor’s page on The Disappeared website by clicking here.

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