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TV | New RTÉ series raises fresh questions about disappearance of Annie McCarrick 30 years ago

Annie McCarrick.

Annie McCarrick who disappeared in 1993.

A new true crime documentary series, MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle, critically explores the idea of a ‘Vanishing Triangle’ stretching from Dundalk in the north to Wexford in the south and across to Tullamore in the Midlands.  Featuring new in-depth interviews with family members, investigating gardai and journalists, it examines the question of whether a serial killer may have been at large.    

The new series takes as its starting point the disappearance of Annie McCarrick on 26th of March 1993. She vanished without a trace from her apartment in Sandymount, Dublin and was reported to have boarded a bus towards Enniskerry village later that day. Gardai subsequently focused their search on the nearby Johnnie Fox’s pub after another reported sighting of her there later that day.    

The first episode airing Monday 8th May at 9.35pm on RTÉ One and RTÉ Player presents fresh evidence that Annie was seen with a man in Poppies Café, Enniskerry on the day she disappeared. It also reveals that her family and friends attempted to highlight concerns that someone Annie knew had been harassing her and had been physically violent to her prior to her disappearance.  But members of the original investigating team who are interviewed in the documentary say none of this information was brought to their attention at the time of her disappearance.   

Nancy McCarrick, Annie's mother speaking to MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle.

Nancy McCarrick, Annie's mother speaking to MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle

Nancy McCarrick also reveals that her family attempted to highlight their concerns that someone known to Annie was harassing her. 

“We found out from her friends that she had been having quite a bit of difficulty with someone she knew and we were totally unaware of that. She hadn’t let us know about it. I guess she thought she could handle it herself and things would be alright,” she says.    

Her aunt and confidante, Maureen Covell, adds: “I was told something in confidence by Anne that someone that Annie had known had struck her when they were in a drunken state.”    

John and Maureen Covell

John and Maureen Covell

Her childhood best friend, Linda Ringhouse, also reveals that she and a group of Annie’s friends and family sent faxes to Ireland just over a week after Annie went missing, to highlight their concerns to gardai.     

Linda says: “Four or five of us each faxed statements. One of the things that’s really frustrating is that we were never contacted by the garda regarding our faxes and some of the information we put in, information that to us was very telling at least, you know, something to be questioned but it never happened as far as I can remember.”    

Annie's childhood best friend, Linda Ringhouse

Annie's childhood best friend, Linda Ringhouse

But former detective Tom Rock, who led the McCarrick incident room, says neither he nor the investigation team ever received the faxes. 

“These faxes never came into the possession of the investigation team. I was never aware of these faxes. They definitely would have taken the investigation in a different direction. That is a source of annoyance and frustration to me and I would know to be a source of annoyance and frustration to all of the investigation team.”   

His colleague, Val Smyth, was the detective tasked with questioning the people named by Annie’s family at the time of her disappearance. “I’m not aware that anyone known to Annie hit her,” he adds. “There was never any question of …assaulting Annie at any time.”

Una Wogan interviewed as part of MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle

Una Wogan interviewed as part of MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle

Separately, the programme also features a new interview with Enniskerry local Una Wogan. Her late mother, Margaret, was finishing a shift in Poppie’s café in the town on the day Annie disappeared.    

Una tells the programme: “At the end of her shift she was ready to go around four o’clock… and the American woman came in with a man and they ordered some food.  Two things I do remember very clearly that the man was shorter than Annie and that he had a square face… the jaw was quite square lined, the whole face, so that’s what stood out to her about him.”  

Una says her mother told Gardai about this sighting when detectives canvassed Enniskerry in the days after Annie’s disappearance. “My Mam never doubted that she saw Annie McCarrick with a man in Enniskerry the day she went missing. Mammy went forward and spoke to a detective and I’m very curious as to why the guards never followed up, never contacted her to get more details?”    

missing: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle

Annie McCarrick’s case was formally upgraded to a murder investigation in advance of the 30th anniversary last March, following a written request from her mother to Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Detectives re-examining the case have pledged to leave no stone unturned in their attempt to bring her killer to justice.      

Episode One of MISSING: Beyond the Vanishing Triangle airs on RTE One and RTÉ Player Monday 8th May at 9.35pm


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