Gardaí have been asked to reverse a decision not to fund DNA analysis on bones that were found off the southeast coast.
It is understood the skeletal remains could be those of some of the fishermen whose bodies were never recovered following fishing accidents in the past six years.
The Maggie B sank off Hook Head in March 2006 and skipper Glen Cott and crewman Jan Sankowski were never found.
The Pere Charles sank not far from Hook Head in January 2007. The bodies of Tom Hennessey, his uncle Pat, Patrick Cody, Billy O'Connor, and Andrea Dyrin have not been recovered.
The following night, the Honey Dew II, sank off Mine Head, with the loss of skipper Ger Bohan and Polish crew member Tomas Yagla.
A femur bone from a left leg was found by a fisherman near Hook Head in January 2010, but the families of the missing men were not informed of the discovery.
A skull was recovered off Helvick Head nine months later. In August 2011, a right femur from a different person was found off Hook Head.
Gerry Kealy was the foremost garda detective for examining and identifying bones.
He wrote to his superiors last autumn requesting funds in the region of €12,500 to have DNA analysis done in England on the three cases.
The analysis could not be extracted in Ireland because of decomposition.
He was refused and said he was told it was due to budgetary constraints.
Mr Kealy feels the money should be found as it may or may not be some of the crew members of the three trawlers.
If the DNA is extracted it could then be tested against DNA from swabs taken from family members.
Mr Kealy, who has since retired, feels that if senior gardaí knew about this, they would have found the money.
Family members contacted about the matter have said they are shocked at what has happened and are calling for the garda authorities to sanction the testing be done.
A spokesperson for the Garda Press Office said gardaí do not comment on ongoing investigations and that every case is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.