Sunday 20 October 2019

DNA could identify Tuskar Rock victim

Sample taken by leading laboratory

An Aer Lingus Viscount plane similar to the one that crashed off Tuskar Rock in 1968.
An Aer Lingus Viscount plane similar to the one that crashed off Tuskar Rock in 1968.

Esther Hayden

The mystery that surrounds an unidentified victim of the Tuskar Rock plane crash of 1968 could soon be solved, thanks to advances in DNA technology.

Only fourteen bodies were ever recovered after the crash that killed 61 people (38 men, 21 women, and two young children). Thirteen of them were identified at the time, but the fourteenth body, which was recovered by a fisherman some weeks after the crash, was never positively identified.

Those remains were buried at Crosstown Cemetery just outside Wexford. They were later exhubmed in 2000 at the request of Jerome McCormick, whose brother Neill was on board the ill-fated flight and whose body was never recovered.

A DNA profile could not be established at that time, but now following a fresh examination involving new techniques developed by a leading laboratory in England, a profile has indeed been generated.

This means that a match could be made between the DNA from those remains and a DNA sample taken from any male relative of the unidentified victim. Efforts are being made to trace relations of the male victims whose remains are still officially missing, to allow such testing to take place.

Jerome McCormick said it is hoped that this will bring resolution for one of the families of more than thirty men whose bodies were never recovered.

'It may be Neill who rests in this grave, or it may be one of the other men. I feel for the other families. But I am satisfied that after all this time, someone will have found their relative.'

He is appealing to people with information on locating other families to contact him on jeromemccormick95@

Wexford People

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