Remains exhumation date in search for missing Pauline Finlay

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Image copyright RTÉ
Image caption Pauline Finlay went missing in March 1994, seven months before the body of an unidentified woman was found in Wales

A date has been set for the exhumation of remains in the search for a woman who vanished in Ireland 23 years ago.

The family of Pauline Finlay, who disappeared in County Wexford, have been told she may have been buried at Ynys Wyn cemetery, on Anglesey.

An unidentified body was found at Cable Bay, near Holyhead, in 1994.

The cemetery will be shut on 12 December to allow forensic experts to exhume the remains from the unmarked grave.

Caernarfon coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said his predecessor and police at the time failed to identify the remains and they were buried.

A cause of death was not determined and an open verdict was recorded in 1995.

A review of old cases by North Wales Police and officers in the Irish Republic led to the conclusion they were probably the remains of Ms Finlay, 49, who vanished while walking her dog along a beach near Wicklow.

In October, The High Court in London agreed the inquest should be reopened.

Before the exhumation begins next week, and at the family's request, a Catholic priest will conduct a brief graveside blessing.

Det Con Don Kenyon, who is leading the investigation, said criminality was not suspected and the focus of the operation was to "identify, reunite and allow the dignity of a funeral service".

He added: "We hope to return Pauline to her family as soon as possible to grant her and her family the dignity and comfort of a full funeral service."

North Wales Police has been using DNA tests in a bid to solve 17 separate cold cases of unidentified human remains found in the area from 1968 to 2011.