Review under way into unidentified human remains in coroners' offices

Tuesday 13 November 2012 12.58
Alan Shatter says remains found at sea are particularly difficult to identify
Alan Shatter says remains found at sea are particularly difficult to identify

Minister for Justice Alan Shatter has said an internal review is under way by his department regarding unidentified human remains in coroners' offices.

The minister was speaking in Tipperary to journalists.

He was asked about the recent revelations that bones were found off the southeast coast but have not been sent to England for DNA analysis.

The minister said it was a very important issue and described remains found at sea as a particularly difficult issue.

Mr Shatter said he understood that where remains are found at sea the DNA testing that is available is not definitive in determining identity.

He has asked for this to be reviewed. 

Mr Shatter said that an assessment is currently being carried out as to whether a different approach could be adopted.

He also commented on reports from RTÉ's Prime Time programme a few weeks ago of other human remains lying unidentified in county coroners' offices.

The minister said the Department of Justice is engaged with the State Pathologist's office in respect of certain remains that have been found.