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Irish police to examine deaths case

THE HEAD of the Irish Republic's police is to conduct a full investigation into the handling of inquiries into last week's abductions and triple murders in Co Clare, in the wake of widespread criticism, writes Alan Murdoch.

In the Clare-Galway murders it took four days for gardai to identify a car found burnt out in one county as that reported missing in the other. It belonged to the artist Imelda Riney, who disappeared on 29 April with her son Liam, 3. Both were found dead last Sunday.

Criticism has been fuelled by the initial Garda insistence in Clare last week that the case was only a missing persons inquiry despite evidence pointing to a forcible abduction.

Yesterday the Irish cabinet heard details of a 'frank' preliminary report on the investigation by the Garda Commissioner, Patrick Culligan. Earlier, several thousand people gathered in Eyrecourt, Co Galway, for the funeral of their parish priest, Father Joe Walsh, 37, whose body was discovered in woods on Saturday.