Mary Boyle was just six years old when she went missing in March 1977. Her disappearance is the longest-running missing child case in Irish history. She was last seen walking to her grandparents’ farm before she seemingly vanished without a trace.
The mystery triggered a huge search from the police, army and hundreds of local volunteers. But despite the intensive search efforts, no sign of Mary, or evidence of where she went, was ever uncovered.
Now, 45 years later, we are helping in the ongoing search to find Mary, featuring her story on the new series of The Missing podcast, hosted by Pandora Sykes and exclusive to Amazon Music.
Pandora speaks to Anne Doherty, the twin sister of Mary Boyle, in the heart-breaking second episode of the new series of The Missing. “Mary used to do the talking for the two of us,” Anne tells Pandora.
“I always felt like I had someone there to protect me and help me when I needed it. Mary was feisty. She wouldn’t take nonsense from anyone.”
Speaking about those terrifying days after her twin sister vanished, Anne adds: “The whole thing was scary. You went from just being yourselves and then there was people everywhere. It was scary as a child.”
Mary’s absence was felt across every inch of their family home. Anne would cling to her mother’s hand everywhere she went, scared that someone was coming for her. Anne had to make a life for herself without Mary, but she could never forget her lost twin.
The podcast explores Anne’s childhood trauma, the stories and misinformation which surrounded the mystery, and Anne’s own shocking theory about her sister’s disappearance.
Almost as long as she has been alive, Anne has been known as the twin left behind – one half of a whole. More than 45 years after Mary’s disappearance, Anne knows that the chances of finding her sister alive are slim. But she clings to the hope that, one day, a body will be found and they will get the closure they so desperately need.
“Please come forward with any bit of information you have and put an end to this torture,” Anne says. “That’s what it is: a torture of not knowing where she is or having a grave to visit. Most people wouldn’t want a grave, because a grave is final, but we have nothing. I want a grave, to be able to go to a grave and talk to Mary. I talk to her all the time in my head, but I want somewhere to go and pray.”
The Missing is a Podimo podcast. It is produced by What’s The Story Sounds and made in association with charities Locate International and Missing People. They believe that every missing person case featured in this series could still be solved.
If you have information, please phone the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station. Alternatively, The National Missing Persons Helpline can be contacted via telephone on 1890 442 552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also visit TheMissingPodcast.org, where you can find contact information as well as contribute and discuss on the Locate International forum.
You can listen exclusively to all of series four on Amazon Music now. New episodes will air every fortnight on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts. Episode 2 is set to be released on May 20.