An appeal has been issued for the public's help in identifying skeletal remains found earlier this year by workmen involved in ground work on the former Midleton to Youghal railway line in Co Cork.

Gardaí say they are those of a woman and have not been linked to any known missing person's case or any ongoing investigation.

The discovery of a skull by workmen clearing the path for a greenway along the old Midleton to Youghal railway line led to a garda search, which lasted for more than nine days.

The workmen were clearing scrub from the rail line, which closed in 1982, on the afternoon of 5 January.

The skull was found by a man using a digger to level the ground at an area known as the Shanty Path, 3km east of Midleton.

Gardaí sealed off the area until Assistant State Pathologist Dr Margot Bolster and senior gardaí visited the following morning.

A detailed search then got under way and further body parts were found. They were brought to Cork University Hospital, where they were examined by Dr Bolster.

Gardaí also received assistance from a forensic anthropologist.

By the end of the garda search, a complete skeleton had been recovered.

Some personal items and fragments of clothing, which appear to be from a night dress, were also found.

Gardaí say the remains are those of a woman, aged over 70. The woman is described as being between 5' (1.52m) and 5'2" (1.57m) tall.

Samples taken from the skeletal remains were sent to Forensic Science Ireland for further analysis and testing.

Gardaí had hoped a DNA profile could be built and matched with a profile from the garda's missing persons' data base.

However, this morning investigating gardaí confirmed that no match had yet been established with any known missing person, or with any other garda investigation currently under way.

They are appealing for people with information to contact them at Midleton Garda Station in Co Cork.

The appeal for information on the case will feature on tonight's Crimecall on RTÉ One at 9.35pm.