Shergar's skull 'found in ditch'

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The Independent Online

An Irish councillor claims he had discovered the head of horse racing legend Shergar.

Tommy Foley, from Tralee in Co Kerry, said he found the remains of the stallion's skull last Saturday during an annual clean up of a glen outside the West Ireland town.

"There were two bullet holes in the head and it was definitely a racehorse's head," he said. "I was there with a farmer's son and he said it was not an ordinary horse."

Mr Foley said the remains were hidden in a sack at the bottom of a ditch.

"We decided to go into the extreme end of the glen this year where there was a lot of dumping taking place.

"It's just three miles from Tralee and it would be a place where you would conceal the remains unseen for years.

"There is a possibility that it was him because when Shergar was abducted there was a Kerry connection."

Derby winner Shergar was kidnapped by an IRA gang from a stud in Co Kildare 17 years ago.

He was stolen at night along with his groom, who was held at gunpoint in the horse van before being released 20 miles away.

Negotiations with the kidnappers continued for four days and a Polaroid photograph was provided, showing Shergar and an up-to-date copy of the Irish Times before the kidnappers suddenly fell silent.

The kidnapping became one of the great mysteries of the 1980s, with constant reports of sightings, but despite a nationwide search no trace of him was ever found.

Insurers refused to pay out without proof of the horse's death.

Former IRA informer Sean O'Callaghan, who is from Co Kerry, later claimed that the horse had been killed by his abductors who were unable to handle him.

Mr Foley, who still has the head, said he had not yet been to the police about the discovery, but planned to do so soon.

An Irish police spokesman said they had appealed for Mr Foley to come forward immediately so the find could be investigated.