Murder investigation into Heeran death to start ‘from scratch’

Gardai have made a new appeal for information in the case of a Leitrim man missing for almost six years and who is now believed to have been murdered.

Patrick Heeran was last seen in Mohill, Co Leitrim, on the afternoon of October 3rd 2011.

At a garda press briefing in Carrick on Shannon today, gardai said they are now satisfied he met his death as a result of foul play.

Today’s press briefing heard that the case of missing 48-year old Patrick Heeran was upgraded to a murder investigation in October last year.

Inspector Ray Mulderring says this was as a result of a combination of factors over a period of time.

That murder investigation is now being started ‘from scratch’ with Garda searches taking place today in the Aughavas area of County Leitrim, supported by the defence forces.

All original witnesses will be interviewed again

Gardai say they have not formed any view about how Pat Heeran met his death, adding that it’s too early to comment on any reasons why it happened.

In response to a query from Ocean FM News if gardai had any suspects or if the focus of their investigation was wide open, Inspector Mulderrig said they were working with an open mind and would follow wherever the evidence led them.

In November 2014, three persons were arrested and interviewed in connection with the case. All were released without charge.

But Inspector Mulderrig says somebody out there knows what happened to Pat Heeran and somebody knows where his body is located.

Among those at today’s briefing were two sisters of Pat Heeran, Sheila McCrann and Doreen Keegan.

Pat also has two brothers and a sister in the U.S.

Also present was Damien Brennan, a cousin of Patrick.

He says that for almost six years, Patrick’s family have lived through the worst possible nightmare.

He said initially, they lived in hope that he was just missing but as time passed, the weight of evidence suggests the inevitable, that he was murdered, probably on October 3rd 2011.

Mr Brennan says Pat’s elderly mother is completely broken-hearted and distraught, and her only hope now is to be able to give her son a proper burial before she herself dies.

After the press briefing, Mr Brennan spoke to Ocean FM News: