Sunday 23 September 2018

New search begins for 'Disappeared' former monk Joe Lynskey

Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in Bogland near Oristown in Co Meath
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

Michael McHugh

A fresh search for a man abducted and killed by the IRA in 1972 is to be launched.

Joe Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk who later joined the Provisionals.

Undated handout file photo issued by WAVE Trauma Centre of Joe Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk who later joined the Provisionals, as a fresh search is to be launched in Oristown, Co Meath, in the Republic of Ireland, after he was abducted and killed by the IRA in 1972. Trauma Centre/PA Wire
Undated handout file photo issued by WAVE Trauma Centre of Joe Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk who later joined the Provisionals, as a fresh search is to be launched in Oristown, Co Meath, in the Republic of Ireland, after he was abducted and killed by the IRA in 1972. Trauma Centre/PA Wire

Preparatory work will start on Monday to clear a small area of trees in Oristown, Co Meath, in the Republic of Ireland, with the dig proper beginning within days.

He was kidnapped in west Belfast in August 1972 and became known as one of the so-called Disappeared - 16 people abducted and secretly buried by republicans in the 1970s and 1980s.

Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Scene of the search for the remains of one of the Dissapeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

The search is being led by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR).

Lead investigator Geoff Knupfer said: "We carried out an extensive search for Joe Lynskey in nearby Coghalstown in 2015.

"During that search we found the remains of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee but unfortunately we drew a blank in relation to Joe Lynskey.

"As we do after every unsuccessful search we go back and review all the information that we have pulled together to see if there are other lines of inquiry to be pursued.

Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Maria Lynskey, niece of Joe Lynskey, at the scene of the search for the remains of one of the Disappeared Joe Lynskey in bogland near Oristown in Co Meath (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

"That's what we've done in this case and as a result we are going to look at quite a small area of woodland at Oristown near where we found Brendan Megraw in 2014."

He said they would start work as soon as the land is cleared of trees and contractors and forensic archaeologists can begin.

"We anticipate that this will not be a long search either way.

"The Lynskey family have been informed and they know only too well that there is no guarantee of success but we will continue to do everything we can."

Of the 16 Disappeared, the remains of 13 have been recovered.

The remaining three are Mr Lynskey, Columba McVeigh who was kidnapped in 1975 and British soldier Captain Robert Nairac, taken in South Armagh and killed by the IRA in 1977.

Mr Knupfer appealed for information on the three cases, saying: "Any information provided to the ICLVR is held in complete confidence and can only be used for the location of the Disappeared and cannot be shared with other agencies for any other purpose.

"Anyone with information on any of the outstanding cases should contact the ICLVR on 00800 555 85500, by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2. or via the website www.iclvr.ie."

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