A MAN whose body washed up on a beach along the east coast of Ireland 10 years ago has finally been identified by his DNA.
The man’s remains were discovered on the sands of Rockmarshall Beach to the north of Co. Louth in 2007 with no clues as to his identity.
However, Forensic Science Ireland (FSI) have at last struck a breakthrough after recent DNA tests showed the body belonged to Joseph Reilly, a 50-year-old Dubliner who vanished in 2006.
Mr Reilly’s family had been searching for their missing loved one for over a decade.
The Irishman lived alone on Hatch Street in the Irish capital when he disappeared in December 2006.
His unidentified body washed up six months later almost 100km to the north along Ireland’s east coast.
An investigation found that Mr Reilly’s body had been in the water for some months but failed to name him.
DNA was taken at the scene and the unidentified body was buried locally in Lordship, Co. Louth.
But FSI has finally solved the case after Mr Reilly’s two brothers recently provided DNA samples to Gardaí as part of an ongoing operation into the identification of anonymous bodies.
Gabriel Reilly told RTÉ that his family felt “relief” that the mystery of his brother’s disappearance had finally been solved.
"It has been a big shock for us all and something we had come to terms with because he had disappeared into being a mystery," Gabriel told RTÉ.
"We get the chance to bring an end to the situation and bring Joe home, so to speak.
"We've been searching for 10 years without success. We didn't seem to have something to grasp on to."
Gabriel was full of praise for the local Louth community who buried his brother.
"The local community in Lordship have been quite stunning in terms of what they have done,” he said.
"They virtually adopted Joe and have taken great care of him since then.”
Right now in Ireland, there are a number of bodies discovered throughout the country that no one has ever been able to put a name to.
In Co. Clare, one man’s body has gone unnamed since July 2012, while a number of ‘unidentified body parts’ reside at the Dublin city morgue.