Car removed from river at Crosshaven for forensic examination matches vehicle from 2004 missing person case 

Car removed from river at Crosshaven for forensic examination matches vehicle from 2004 missing person case 

Members of the Garda Water unit preparing for a dive at Hugh Coveney Pier, Crosshaven Co Cork for the recovery of a vehicle found in the water.

A car found submerged in the Owenabue River at Crosshaven has been recovered and will now be forensically examined.

The vehicle, understood to be in a brittle state, has been removed to a storage facility and Gardaí are continuing their investigations.

While it is expected that it will take some time to investigate the find, there are hopes that it may help provide answers in relation to the disappearance of a young man from the area 17 years ago.

It is understood the car found matches the description of a rust-coloured Toyota Corolla hatchback owned by Barry Coughlan, who has been missing from the area since 2004.

Barry Coughlan, last seen in 2004.
Barry Coughlan, last seen in 2004.

Barry Coughlan, a fisherman from Crosshaven, was last seen outside the Moonduster Bar in the harbour town at 1.30am on May 1, 2004. He was 23 years old.

A Garda spokesperson told The Echo this morning: 

"The vehicle which was discovered submerged in water near Hugh Coveney Pier in Crosshaven, Co. Cork has been recovered from the water.

"Gardaí will now conduct a technical examination of the vehicle.

"The scene remains preserved at Hugh Coveney Pier and further searches are being conducted by the Garda Water Unit today, Friday 28th May 2021.

"Investigations are ongoing."

The vehicle was discovered in the river bed on Wednesday, when the Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery unit were conducting a routine trial of a new sidescan sonar unit known as a 'StarFish'.

When the scanner identified a possible item in the Owenabue river, divers from the unit investigated further and discovered the vehicle.

 Members of Garda Water Unit making preparations at Hugh Coveney Pier, Crosshaven Co Cork for the recovery of a vehicle found in the water.
Members of Garda Water Unit making preparations at Hugh Coveney Pier, Crosshaven Co Cork for the recovery of a vehicle found in the water.

Gardaí were called to the scene on Wednesday evening and yesterday the Garda Sub Aqua team arrived to begin a detailed search of the area.

Mr Coughlan had started a job as a fisherman in Castletownbere a short time before he disappeared and had come home for the weekend.

When he disappeared, the family hoped he would turn up in Castletownbere for work. He had been due back on Sunday afternoon, May 2 — a day after his last sighting.

But he didn’t, and his car has not been seen since his disappearance either, despite exhaustive searches by his family, friends and gardaí.

His family have issued regular appeals for information since his disappearance. They said his disappearance was completely out of character for him and was totally unexpected, as nothing about him suggested that he was thinking of leaving and he did not appear to have any troubles.

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