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Saturday 10 December 2016

Disappeared: Post-mortem confirms bodies of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee found in Co Meath

The families of the two men who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA are making funeral arrangements

Published 08/09/2015 | 13:12

The families of Disappeared victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee take part in a ceremony where human remains were found in bogland, near the village of Wilkinstown in Ireland June 26, 2015. More than one body has been found during a search for IRA victims who have been missing since 1972, local media reported. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
The families of Disappeared victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee take part in a ceremony where human remains were found in bogland, near the village of Wilkinstown in Ireland June 26, 2015. More than one body has been found during a search for IRA victims who have been missing since 1972, local media reported. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
The families of Disappeared victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee watch as human remains are removed from bogland, near the village of Wilkinstown in Ireland June 26, 2015. More than one body has been found during a search for IRA victims who have been missing since 1972, local media reported. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
Families of two of the IRA Disappeared look on as two sets of human remains are removed from a reclaimed bog in Coghalstown, Co Meath. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 26, 2015. The bodies - which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks - are thought to be that of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by the terror group in Belfast in October 1972. See PA story IRISH Lynskey. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Kevin McKee

Two bodies found at a bog in County Meath have been confirmed as two of the Disappeared Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee.

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The men vanished from west Belfast in October 1972.

The families of the two men who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA are making funeral arrangements.

Post-mortem examinations have confirmed that the two bodies found in the bog in a single grave at Coghalstown in June were the two men.

Kevin McKee
Kevin McKee

Searches were carried out by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains established in 1999.

The so-called Disappeared were 16 people abducted and secretly buried by republicans in the 1970s and 1980s.

Hearses transport two sets of human remains which were found in a reclaimed bog in Coghalstown, Co Meath, after the families of two of the IRA Disappeared visited a site in the Irish Republic where it is believed the remains of their loved ones have been found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 26, 2015. The bodies - which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks - are thought to be that of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by the terror group in Belfast in October 1972. See PA story IRISH Lynskey. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Hearses transport two sets of human remains which were found in a reclaimed bog in Coghalstown, Co Meath, after the families of two of the IRA Disappeared visited a site in the Irish Republic where it is believed the remains of their loved ones have been found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 26, 2015. The bodies - which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks - are thought to be that of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by the terror group in Belfast in October 1972. See PA story IRISH Lynskey. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The grave where the two men were found was discovered during a search on the site for Joe Lynskey, a former monk who also went missing from west Belfast in the same year.

Sir Ken Bloomfield and Frank Murray, commissioners of the ICLVR - which coordinates liaisons with former terrorists, the dig and recovery operations, said the remains will be released to relatives in the coming days.

Families of two of the IRA Disappeared look on as two sets of human remains are removed from a reclaimed bog in Coghalstown, Co Meath. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 26, 2015. The bodies - which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks - are thought to be that of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by the terror group in Belfast in October 1972. See PA story IRISH Lynskey. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Families of two of the IRA Disappeared look on as two sets of human remains are removed from a reclaimed bog in Coghalstown, Co Meath. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday June 26, 2015. The bodies - which will undergo DNA tests over the next few weeks - are thought to be that of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, both abducted and murdered by the terror group in Belfast in October 1972. See PA story IRISH Lynskey. Photo credit should read: Niall Carson/PA Wire

"The thoughts of everyone in the commission are with the Wright and McKee families at this difficult time," they said.

Following the confirmation of the bodies Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams said the news will bring an "end to the uncertainty" for the families.

He said: "I want to thank everyone who has helped in the search for the remains of those who were killed and secretly buried by the IRA. Republicans have cooperated fully with the Commission and we now need to continue to do our utmost to bring closure for the remaining families.

"Today’s confirmation is an important step toward achieving this.

"I want to appeal again for anyone with any information on those remains still not found to bring that information forward to the families, to the Commission or myself.”

Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course by the Wright and McKee families.

The two IRA victims were unearthed on a farm near Coghalstown, Co Meath, after laying undisturbed for about 40 years in a shallow grave - one body on top of the other.

When originally dug by terrorists, the grave is thought to have been about one metre deep in the middle of a bog measuring at least 60,000 square metres.

It is also only a few miles from where the body of Brendan Megraw was dug up last year following searches at Oristown, Co Meath.

Separate inquests will be held in front of Dr Brian Farrell, coroner for Dublin city.

Belfast Telegraph

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