A retired garda has said that an unidentified body buried in Wales 32 years ago may be his father.

Brendan Dowley, 63, was last seen getting on a bus in Kilkenny in October 1985. The bus was heading for the ferry in Dún Laoghaire for onward travel to Holyhead in Wales.

Alan Dowley told RTÉ's Prime Time that he has recently given a DNA sample to gardaí to be compared with a body that washed up on the Welsh coast in November 1985.

The development follows a re-investigation of the case by Welsh police which has established that a number of surgical scars on the unidentified body seem to match Brendan Dowley's medical history.

"We were aware back at the time of the body found in Wales, but this was a time before DNA," Alan Dowley has said.

"In 1986 Welsh police had looked for my father's dental records but we did not have them. Things seemed to fizzle out after that. There was no way to identify the body," he added.

Mr Dowley recently contacted Welsh police once again to enquire about the unidentified case given that forensics are far more advanced than they were at the time of his father's disappearance.

An ongoing garda initiative is seeking to establish how many Irish bodies are among the 600 unidentified bodies buried in cemeteries in Britain.

114 of those unidentified bodies were recovered from the western British seaboard, fuelling a belief that some may be people who drowned in Irish waters, and whose bodies were swept across the Irish Sea.