Man found inside car in Lough Erne 18 years after disappearance took his own life, coroner concludes

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A person who was found inside a car on the backside of Lough Erne 18 years after he disappeared drove into the water at velocity earlier than drowning, a coroner has concluded.

ichael Anthony Lynch, often called Tony, was final seen alive on January 6, 2002.

At his inquest sitting in Laganside court docket on Wednesday, his widow Angela recalled how he had left the marital residence in Magheraveely, Co Fermanagh, on the finish of November 2001.

“He moved into a flat with the intention of sorting out his alcohol problem,” she mentioned.

“He was consuming closely and was very depressed.

“He told me he would come back home.”

However, Ms Lynch by no means noticed her husband once more.

She described two cellphone calls – together with one simply earlier than Christmas – that she had together with her late husband after he moved to Co Monaghan.

“He sounded like he had had a drink,” Ms Lynch mentioned.

“He told me he would come to see us at Christmas. But he never did come – even though children were waiting on him.”

The father-of-four, whose alcoholism and despair worsened following the dying of his mom in June 2001, referred to as once more in the brand new 12 months.

“It was in the early hours of the morning, sounded sober,” Ms Lynch recalled.

“He mentioned he was sorry – and that he couldn’t come again the way in which he was.

“He reassured me he nonetheless beloved me and the kids.

“I never heard from him again after that phone call.”

The heartbroken widow instructed the inquest there was no trace of “finality” in his phrases.  

Barman Patrick Cassidy was the final individual to have seen the 54-year-old alive at 6.30pm on January 6, 2002.

He instructed the inquest that Mr Lynch got here into the lodge bar close to Clones and drank two glasses of whiskey as he watched TV with one other punter. 

“He was quiet and unassuming,” Mr Cassidy mentioned.

“He certainly appeared sober to me.”

The witness recalled that there had been a battle between his boss and the deceased the earlier weekend, however mentioned it had been resolved.

“When he finished his drinks he said ‘see you boys’ and then left,” Mr Cassidy recalled.

James Lynch reported his brother lacking to Gardai on January 9, 2002.

For virtually twenty years there was no hint of the lacking individual, who left no clues and no suicide word.

The digger driver’s white Mitsubishi Galant was finally found by likelihood in Corradilar quay close to Lisnaskea by two fishermen utilizing sonar imaging technology – some 11 our bodies of water had beforehand been searched by PSNI and gardai. 

The coroner accepted proof from PSNI sergeant Hutchings and Garda sergeant Leech who mentioned the car was found 20 metres from the water’s edge by police divers on May 18, 2020. 

Skeletal stays have been found in the motive force seat with the seatbelt nonetheless fixed.

A autopsy examination recognized the deceased by dental information, however couldn’t confirm the reason for dying as a result of extent of decay.

The coroner found that Mr Lynch “had a history of low mood, depression and alcoholism”.

Mrs Ann-Louise Toal mentioned, on the steadiness of chances, the deceased took his own life by “entering the water at speed” late on January 6 or early on January 7, 2002.

She mentioned Mr Lynch died by drowning, earlier than including: “I pass on my condolences to his family and hope this brings them some closure.”

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