Northern Ireland

Arlene Arkinson: Sister says she was always kept informed of her whereabouts

Arlene Arkinson went missing after a night out in Donegal in 1994
Image caption Arlene Arkinson went missing after a night out in Donegal in 1994

An inquest into the death of Arlene Arkinson has been told by a sister of the teenager that she would never have gone anywhere without telling her.

The 15-year-old went missing after a night out in Donegal in 1994.

Her body has never been found. Child killer Robert Howard, who died in prison last year, was the main suspect.

Arlene's sister Anita McGale appeared for the first time at her inquest at Omagh Courthouse on Monday.

Timeline: child killer Robert Howard

Ms McGale said the Castlederg schoolgirl always told her where she was.

Image caption Child killer Robert Howard, who died in prison last year, was the main suspect

She also told the inquest that Arlene had never told her she was pregnant or had had a miscarriage.

The inquest heard in February that Arlene was from a troubled background and that she may have been pregnant when she went missing.

Asked by counsel for the coroner why Arlene would have told such a story to other people, Ms McGale said she did not know.

Arlene lived with her sister Anita for one and half years after her mother died.

Social services said she could not live with her father who had started drinking heavily after his wife's death.

The arrangement ended after Anita's then husband Seamus McGale was accused and subsequently jailed for sexually abusing Arlene in 1993.

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