A 36-year-old mystery has been solved - but another remains, an inquest heard yesterday (Tue).

Coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones recorded that the 24-year-old man whose body was washed ashore at Rhoscolyn, Anglesey, in October 1983 was Irishman Connor Whoolley.

He said at the Caernarfon, Gwynedd, hearing :”The identity is Connor Whoolley, the cause of death unascertained, the verdict remains open.”

A pathologist who performed a post-mortem examination on the remains in 1983 found that there was a depressed fracture of the skull but thought the most likely cause of death was drowning. The then Anglesey coroner recorded an open verdict and the remains were buried in a cemetery at Menai Bridge.

In 2012 it was believed the body might be that of a missing Norwegian sailor, Jan Haegeland, after police in Norway carried out a cold case review. That December high court permission was obtained for the body to be exhumed. A DNA profile was obtained but there was no match. The Irish police, North Wales Police, and the UK missing persons bureau continued their inquiries and in September last year there was a DNA match.

Mr Pritchard Jones said :”However, the family have decided they don’t want an exhumation, they will simply put a gravestone on the grave at Menai Bridge.”

Last December North Wales Police said Mr Woolley had vanished from Dublin in 1983 and came from Greystones, County Wicklow.

Detective Constable Don Kenyon said :”We have been in contact with the family of Connor Whoolley and they are receiving support from the Garda missing persons unit. I hope this positive news will encourage other families of missing people to provide DNA samples to help solve other cases in North Wales and beyond.”

After hearing about Operation Orchid on RTE television his mother had provided DNA.

A family statement then issued by police declared :”Connor’s family are relieved to know his final resting place and that he has been cared for by the people of Anglesey and Menai Bridge in particular.

“They also know that other Irish families have had family members located through Operation Orchid.

“They would encourage families of the missing to contact the authorities to seek help and especially to add their names to the DNA database.”