The family of a woman who died in mysterious circumstances in Donegal fifteen years ago have once again demanded answers about her death.
Last month, members of the Reid family gathered to wish their beloved sister, Mary, a very happy birthday.
But there would be no cake, no cards, just a sense of longing… what if, who, what, where, when, how. Where Mary Reid is concerned, there has always been more questions than answers.
As the family gathered, their minds wandered at times, memories of a smiling face, of a determined young woman who would “go hungry to help a stranger” – a woman with the biggest heart in the world.
It was a cold, January evening, the 29th of the month, 2003. A local man out walking on the beach came across a body of a partially clothed woman. It was near Doagh, in Co Donegal, a lonely spot on a winter’s night.
That woman was Mary Reid (49), sister of proud Donegal man but Drogheda-based Joe Reid, who runs Floorstyle on Patrick Street.
Fifteen years later and Joe is still transfixed by what happened to his sister. The authorities say it was suicide, maybe an accidental drowning as she tried to rescue her dog from a stormy sea. Joe feels something more sinister is at play.
But in the years since Mary’s death, no new leads have been uncovered – even today, Joe feels it could be the likes of a Garda ‘whistleblower’ that might shed new light on a case, growing dimmer with the sands of time.
Joe told independent.ie “I wait for the day that I get a call from someone who tells me the real story, the truth about Mary. I know she was the type of girl who’d have done exactly what her family are doing for her now, fighting for justice, justice for Mary.
“Mary was the type of woman who did nothing for herself. That’s why it hurts so much. I feel I haven’t achieved anything for her and that upsets me. But I won’t give up, I won’t give up on Mary.”
The last reported sighting of Mary was in Derry city at 9.30am on that January morning in 2003. Eight hours later, her lifeless body was found on a beach in Donegal.
Mary’s unlocked car was located in a car park. Her car was first noticed parked there at 12.30pm, five hours before her body was discovered a short distance away.
It was reported that her body was still warm when it was found. There was water in her lungs, but did she die there and what was the cause?
But more importantly, where was Mary for five hours between her car being spotted and her body being found?
Her bag was never recovered and the scene was not preserved. The initial feeling was this was a suicide – pure and simple?
“There exists no medical evidence, no written evidence, no verbal evidence and no visual evidence of suicide in relation to Mary’ s death,” Joe states, highly critical of how the gardai handled the situation from the very start.
“Mary’s car had been meticulously cleaned, her bag with personal belongings was never found. The PSNI in Derry were never contacted despite Mary living and working in the city for the previous decade,” Joe reveals.
Gardai re-opened their files into the case in 2005 but it proved inconclusive.
It was claimed that Mary drowned while trying to rescue her dog that had dashed into the sea. That dog was never found and no-one saw her with a dog.Tags: