Garda excavate land as part of missing person investigation

Gardai in Donegal have launched a land search and excavation as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a doctor from Northern Ireland.

Deirdre O’Flaherty was reported missing from a family holiday home in Moville, Co Donegal on January 11, 2009.

Three years after she disappeared, the High Court in Belfast ruled that the 46-year-old, from Strabane in Co Tyrone, was dead.

The judge said he was satisfied that Dr O’Flaherty had drowned after going into the sea in Co Donegal.

The search will be carried out by members of the Donegal divisional search team, and garda technical bureau along with private contractors, and is expected to last up to five days.

Gardai say they are liaising closely with relatives and a garda family liaison officer has been appointed.

Officers said the development continues to form part of a missing person investigation, adding there is no change of status.

The family has requested that their privacy be respected at this time.