Thursday 5 December 2019

Remains of 'Disappeared' victim brought home to Belfast

The remains of Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw, which were found in a bog in Co Meath last month, at his brothers home on Oakhurst Avenue in Belfast Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The remains of Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw, which were found in a bog in Co Meath last month, at his brothers home on Oakhurst Avenue in Belfast Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Kieran Megraw with the remains of his brother Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw, which were found in a bog in Co Meath last month, at his home on Oakhurst Avenue in Belfast Brian Lawless/PA Wire
The remains of disappeared victim Brendan Megraw, which were found in a bog in Co Meath last month are brought to his brothers home on Oakhurst Avenue in Belfast Brian Lawless/PA Wire

David Young

The remains of one of the IRA's "Disappeared" victims have been brought back to his home town of Belfast - 36 years after he was abducted and murdered.

A coffin carrying Brendan Megraw was carried into his brother Kieran's house in the west of the city for a wake the family have waited more than three decades to hold.

He returned home six weeks after his body was finally found buried in a remote bog at Oristown in rural Co Meath in the Irish Republic.

The 23-year-old was snatched by the IRA from his home in the Twinbrook area of west Belfast in April, 1978.

The newly-wed was eagerly expecting the birth of a daughter when he was dragged away by the IRA and killed.

Mr Megraw's funeral service will be held in Belfast on Friday morning.

This afternoon Kieran Megraw lit candles around his brother's coffin and reflected upon a day he feared might never come.

"It's just tremendous to feel we now have him back home," he said.

"We always dreamed about it, thought about it, hoped and prayed for it."

Mr Megraw was found through the efforts of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains.

The commission, set up by the British and Irish governments in the wake of the Good Friday peace agreement, was tasked with investigating the cases of 16 people killed and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

Six victims are still to be found.

Last week the commission announced that preliminary searches for another of victim have started close to the same rural bog where Mr Megraw was found.

Specialist forensic investigators are scanning sections of land in the locality of the Oristown bog with radar for the remains of former west Belfast monk Joe Lynskey.

Mr Lynskey went missing in 1972 but it was only in 2010 when the IRA finally admitted to killing and secretly burying him.

It is suspected two more of the disappeared - Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright - are buried in moorland only a few miles from the Oristown bog in an area near Wilkinstown, Co Meath.

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