Northern Ireland

Arlene Arkinson inquest delays 'beyond frustrating'

Arlene Arkinson
Image caption Arlene Arkinson was 15 when she went missing in 1994, shortly after getting into a car with Robert Howard

A barrister for the family of Arlene Arkinson has told the inquest into her death that delays to proceedings are "beyond frustrating".

The Castlederg teenager was last seen being driven away by convicted child killer Robert Howard in August 1994 following a night out in Donegal.

He was acquitted of the 15-year-old's murder in 2005 by a jury not told about his conviction for killing another teenager in England.

Arlene's body has never been found.

Fresh searches for her remains on farmland in County Tyrone last month were unsuccessful.

The Arkinson family were not present in Belfast Coroners Court on Friday, but their legal counsel Henry Toner also pointed out that it has been four months since the last substantive hearings took place.

The inquest started in February this year.

Image caption Howard was found not guilty of Arlene's murder after a trial in 2005

Coroner Brian Sherrard was told there are still documents outstanding from the Garda.

Meetings between Mr Sherrard's legal team and the Republic's state solicitor are ongoing and all the agencies involved have indicated a willingness to co-operate.

The inquest was adjourned until 28 October.

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