Exhumed Anglesey body confirmed as missing Irishman

A photograph of Joseph Brendan Dowley Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Joseph Brendan Dowley, went missing, aged 63, in 1985

A body that washed up on a Welsh beach has been identified more than 30 years later.

Joseph Dowley, from Kilkenny, was last seen in October 1985 boarding a ferry in his native Ireland. He drowned as the ship made its way to Britain.

His remains were discovered in a badly decomposed state on Rhosneigr Beach in Anglesey in November.

The unsolved case was reopened after Mr Dowley's son made inquiries to trace his father.

The 63-year-old's body was exhumed from Menai Bridge cemetery in June to carry out DNA tests.

An inquest at North West Wales Coroner's Office in Caernarfon confirmed Mr Dowley's identity and recorded an open conclusion.

His identification was delayed because Mr Dowley's wife claimed he did not have a scar on his abdomen, contrary to the one noted on the body from the beach.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones said the deceased's son was able to produce records from a London hospital showing Mr Dowley had undergone abdominal surgery.

Mr Jones said the information provided by the widow was "completely wrong".

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