CORK TD Colm Burke has called for the creation of a centralised database for unidentified bodies.
The Fine Gael TD says that information on missing persons that is stored in one central database would lead to quicker identification and could help authorities in the investigation process.
Mr Burke said that the coroner in Galway West has also called for a national database of unidentified remains.
“I would like to see a specific office with people who have the required technical skills. This would help to make progress in some of these cases,” Mr Burke said.
“If there was a more centralised database, there would be a sharing of information. You would then be able to put the information together in a faster timeframe. It would help all the stakeholders and the families.
“For example, if a body was found in a specific area of Cork and can’t be identified, the information on that body will remain in the coroner’s area in Cork. That is a problem. It makes sense for all the agencies to pool their resources together and have one centralised database,” he said.
In response to the query from Mr Burke, Hildegarde Naughton, the state justice minister, said that the Government will write to each coroner to ask them what cases of unidentified remains they have dealt with since 2019, in an effort to speed up any delays in linking remains with missing persons.
“My officials will write to each coroner to ask them what cases of unidentified remains they have dealt with since 2019,” Ms Naughton said.
“The results of the number of cases identified in each coronial district will be shared with An Garda Síochána and, in particular, their Missing Persons’ Unit. This will provide an overview of the current situation to permit An Garda Síochána to follow up with the individual coroners,” she said.