Annie McCarrick murder probe now focusing on claim her handbag was handed in to garda station
• 7h ago
Gardaí are investigating claims that a handbag belonging to Annie McCarrick was handed in to a Dublin garda station around the time the American woman disappeared 30 years ago.
The claims emerged after a press conference last month revealed that Ms McCarrick’s disappearance is now being treated as murder.
New Yorker Annie McCarrick (26) was living in Sandymount and working in the nearby suburb of Donnybrook at the time of her disappearance.
Detectives believe she had a distinctive large, brown handbag with her when she went missing, and appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
‘I presume it was dealt with and kept… cards of Annie were in the bag’
A member of the public has submitted messages exchanged on a missing persons Facebook page in 2021, in which a man claimed to have handed in her handbag around the time she went missing in 1993.
The man claimed he and his friend found McCarrick’s handbag behind Kiely’s pub in Donnybrook.
He claimed that cards inside the bag indicated it belonged to McCarrick.
He said his friend handed it in to Donnybrook garda station, and were “amazed” they heard nothing more about it.
One message from the man said: “We weren’t cops or detectives. We just handed it in to P Station [police station].
“I presume it was dealt with and kept…
“Cards of Annie were in the bag…”
Since the garda appeal, the recipient of the messages tried to contact the man who wrote them but was unable to trace him.
The person then contacted a retired detective inspector, who urged the person to report the social media messages to Irishtown garda station.
Gardaí are trying to trace the author of the messages and are searching records at Donnybrook garda station. A number of people who saw the social media messages have been asked to make formal statements.
One garda source said gardaí were obliged to “bottom out” the information, however he stressed the information was from a secondary rather than a primary source.
‘If the bag was handed in to the public office, it should have been recorded’
The retired detective inspector, who asked not to be named, said: “I felt the information the person was bringing forward was very credible and relevant and warranted further investigation.
“An Garda Síochána are aware of the information. Was the bag handed in or was it not? If the bag was handed in to the public office, it should have been recorded.”
The Garda press office said a number of people had come forward since the appeal for information last month.
“As this is an ongoing criminal investigation, An Garda Síochána does not comment on specific lines of investigation or remarks made by third parties,” their statement said.
Witnesses have told gardaí that McCarrick — originally from Long Island, New York — was seen on a bus to Enniskerry and later at Johnny Fox’s pub in Glencullen on the day she disappeared, leading to theories she may have vanished in the Dublin mountains.
Doubts have been cast on some of those sightings, according to a garda source.
The murder investigation, led by Superintendent Eddie Carroll, is concentrating on Sandymount.
In the last confirmed sighting of her, she is carrying the large handbag
McCarrick, who had studied in Maynooth, returned to Ireland in January 1993 planning to settle here. She shared a flat with two others in St Cathryn’s Court, Sandymount. She worked at Café Java on Leeson Street and at the Courtyard restaurant in Donnybrook.
On the morning of Friday, March 26, she went to the Allied Irish Bank, where she is captured on CCTV around 11am, wearing a coat and carrying a large brown handbag. This is the last confirmed sighting of her.
Shortly after that, she bought groceries at a supermarket. She had invited friends for dinner on Saturday night. Her flatmates had left to return to their homes in the country on the Friday.
She didn’t unpack the groceries but left them in the kitchen. There were unconfirmed sightings of her in Sandymount that afternoon, leaving her flat, and boarding a bus to Enniskerry. A security man reported seeing a woman matching her description at Johnny Fox’s.
When her friends called for dinner the following night, she was not home and hadn’t turned up for work that day. She was reported missing on Sunday, March 28.
Garda Commissioner Drew Harris, said last month that investigators are keeping an “open mind” on how Annie McCarrick disappeared “and how ultimately then she met her death”.
Anyone with information about Annie McCarrick is asked to either contact the investigation team at Irishtown garda station at 01 6669600, their local garda station, or the Garda Confidential telephone line 1800 666 111.