With over 856 unsolved missing persons cases live on the Garda Pulse system, while most are resolved quickly, many cases may go unsolved for a long time. However, the Department of Justice has now compiled the Unidentified Remains Database following an analysis of coroners’ records that may assist in the identification process for the first time.
Advancements in DNA profiling have led to major breakthroughs in many missing person cases in recent years. The provision of a DNA profile to Forensic Science Ireland by family members of
a missing person can assist in solving unidentified bodies and missing person cases. In December 2022, county coroners were asked to return updated details of any unidentified remains for
their coronial district as part of their annual statutory returns to the Minister for Justice. Minister Helen McEntee committed to publishing this data once collated.
The Department established a Forum in July 2021 in association with the Garda Missing Persons Unit and Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) to facilitate information exchange on unidentified remains. The Unidentified Remains Database has been compiled following an analysis of coroners’ records.
The data published comprised 44 records; DNA profiles for 28 Unidentified Remains are on the National DNA Database, while the Department of Justice intends to arrange for samples of the remaining 16 unidentified remains to be attained where possible.