Remains in Wales 'strongly believed' to be be those of Irish woman Pauline Finlay missing for 23 years

Remains in Wales 'strongly believed' to be be those of Irish woman Pauline Finlay missing for 23 years

REMAINS exhumed from an unmarked grave in Wales are strongly believed to be those of missing Irish woman Pauline Finlay. 

Ms Finlay, 49, vanished from a beach near Kilmuckridge in Co. Wexford in March 1994 while walking her pet dogs.

The dogs were later found in a distressed state on the sands but Ms Finlay was nowhere to be seen.

An unidentified body of an adult female was found on a beach near Holyhead on the Welsh coast on October 31 that year.

As part of a cold case review into unidentified remains in Wales over the last five decades, a Welsh Coroner approved the exhumation of the remains last week in an effort to identify the remains as Pauline Finlay.

Police said criminality is not suspected in any of the missing people cases and the focus of the operation is simply to identify, reunite and allow the dignity of a funeral service for family and friends to pay their respects.

Yesterday morning, North Wales Police successfully completed the exhumation of human remains from an unmarked grave at Ynys Wen cemetery in Valley before escorting the hearse to Ysbyty Gwynedd where the remains will undergo an examination later this week.

DC Don Kenyon of North Wales Police who led the joint operation said: "The exhumation was preceded by a brief but moving graveside blessing from local priest Father Frank Murray.

"The exhumation was conducted with dignity and respect by all involved. I’d like to extend my thanks to those who assisted including local undertakers, the Local Authority, my colleagues and the gathered media.

The scene of the exhumation in Wales yesterday. (Picture: North Wales Police)

"I have spoken to Pauline’s family who are pleased that this aspect of returning her to them is now over."

Police said although the remains exhumed today are strongly believed to be those of Pauline Finlay, formal identification rests with HM Coroner for north west Wales Mr Dewi Pritchard Jones who will first require an examination of the remains.

DC Kenyon concluded. "Our hope is to complete this stage of proceedings as quickly and professionally as possible so we can begin the process of reuniting the remains with family to grant them all the dignity and comfort of a full funeral and mass service."