Help to bring Marian’s killer to face justice

Laying flowers at the scene where Marian Beattie was found murdered 45 years ago
Laying flowers at the scene where Marian Beattie was found murdered 45 years ago

On the 45th memorial of the murder of Portadown girl Marian Beattie, her brother Gerard is asking for the public to help bring her killer to justice.

Marian, who was just 18 years old, had been at a ‘Save the Children’ charity dance in Hadden’s Garage, a large shed halfway between Aughnacloy and Ballygawley on March 30 1973 with her older brother and best friend.

She was last seen leaving the dance with a man described as being in his late teens shortly after 1am and heading with the man towards the car park at the top of Hadden’s Quarry, just over 400 yards away. Over five hours later, on the morning of March 31st Marian’s body was found at the bottom of the quarry.

Five years ago the PSNI re-opened the case however nobody has ever been charged with her murder and the case remains unsolved.

The Beattie family went to the scene outside Aughnacloy to lay flowers and light candles.

Gerard said: “I am appealing for people with information to come forward. Marian was a brilliant sister. She was very good to us and my mother and father. She was just a normal, happy girl who never caused any bother. There has been an empty space since she died.”

“At Christmas we sent a letter out to be read in the churches and chapels around Aughnacloy and Ballygawley asking people for their help. As a result of that we have received some information from people in recent months and we thank them for coming forward and helping us. As this is the time of the 45th anniversary we are appealing for other people to come forward again. We are seeking the truth, justice and closure.”

Local criminologist Robert Giles has been helping the family. “We believe the answers to this crime lies within the Aughnacloy and South Tyrone area and there are some people out there who can help us take this investigation further forward.”

“We believe there is a man and possibly others who know what happened that night. We urge them to do the right thing and come forward.”

“45 years is too long for the Beattie family to go without the answers and closure they deserve but it is not too long for justice to be done and for people to do the right thing.”

“Marian’s killing was not a sectarian or politically motivated crime. She was just a young girl who was out enjoying herself when her life was taken.”

Anyone with information on Marian’s death can contact the Pat Finucane Centre in confidence on 028 3751 5191.