Post-mortem to take place on body found in east Cork

A post-mortem examination on the skeletal remains found in east Cork will get underway later today.

Though the results are expected by lunchtime, it could be 48 hours before the remains are identified through dental records or DNA samples.

The skeletal human remains were discovered by a Garda and a sniffer dog who were searching for 47-year-old Kieran Quilligan missing, and believed to have been abducted, from Cork city centre five months ago.

The remains were found on open scrubland near woods and the main road running between Midleton and Whitegate.

Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster together with Chief Superintendent Michael Comyns visited the site before the remains were removed by undertakers to the mortuary at Cork University Hospital last evening.

RTÉ News understands that gardaí are investigating if they are the remains of 47-year-old Kieran Quilligan, who went missing from Cork city centre last September.

Gardaí had conducted an extensive search of farmland on the edge of the Courtstown Industrial Estate in Little Island over several days later that month.

However, that search ended without finding Mr Quilligan’s body.

Mr Quilligan was last seen on the evening of 1 September last year, leaving a premises on Anderson’s Quay in Cork in the company of another man.

Using CCTV, gardaí tracked his movements from there to St Finnbarr’s Place, close to St Finnbarr’s Cathedral and the South Channel of the River Lee.

Kieran Quilligan has been missing since September

Since then, there has been no sighting of him and, from the outset, significant resources were allocated to the garda investigation into Mr Quilligan’s disappearance.

Three weeks after he was last seen, the garda investigation moved to a farm at the edge of the Courtstown Industrial Estate in Little Island, more than 10km from the city in east Cork.

An extensive area of farmland and waste ground was searched. A local Coast Guard team conducted searches of the coastline. Specially-trained dogs and their handlers from the Civil Defence K9 team in Cork and the Search and Rescue Dog Association also assisted.

Throughout the search, members of Mr Quilligan’s family maintained a vigil at the garda cordon, awaiting news.

However, the search ended without any trace of Mr Quilligan being found.

The remains found this morning were close to Whitegate, around 25km south-east of Little Island and 35km where Kieran Quilligan was last seen on CCTV in Cork City.

It is understood a Garda family liaison officer made contact with Mr Quilligan’s family shortly after the discovery, to keep them informed of the investigation and its findings.

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