New NI laws allow woman missing in Donegal to be declared dead

A new law which allows a missing person to be declared dead  has been used for the first time by the family of a County Tyrone doctor who went missing in County Donegal in January 2009.

Until 2009, the family of a missing person would have to wait seven years for such a declaration.

Dr Deirdre Donnelly's car was found at Kinnego Beach. Notes to her three children were found in the nearby family holiday home.

The High Court in Belfast was told that Dr Donnelly had suffered from depression.

Mr Justice Deeny ruled that it was proved to the court's satisfaction that Dr Donnelly entered the sea on 11 January 2009 between 9am and 11am and subsequently drowned.