Sunday 22 July 2018

Push to find disappeared IRA victims is stepped up

Columba McVeigh was 19 when he was abducted. Photo: Pacemaker
Columba McVeigh was 19 when he was abducted. Photo: Pacemaker
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The search for the bodies of the three remaining victims of the Provisional IRA, who were classified as 'The Disappeared', is to be intensified.

A total of 16 victims were described as 'disappeared', with the IRA - then the military wing of Sinn Féin - admitting responsibility for 13 of the savage murders.

A search operation, which has been under way for almost two decades, has been given fresh impetus by the appointment of Tim Dalton as Ireland's commissioner to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR).

Mr Dalton was secretary general of the Department of Justice from 1993 to 2004 and played a key role in the negotiations that led to the IRA ceasefire and the Good Friday Agreement.

He is a member of the Commission for Future of Policing in Ireland, which is due to complete its work in September and has been chairman of Crimestoppers.

The three victims whose remains have yet to be located include Joseph Lynskey from Belfast, who was abducted and killed in the summer of 1972.

Captain Robert Nairac (29) was an officer with the British grenadier guards on a tour of duty in the North when he was abducted in Co Armagh and murdered in May 1977. It is believed that his remains lie in the Ravensdale area of Co Louth or near Jonesboro in south Armagh.

Also missing is Columba McVeigh, from Donaghmore, Co Tyrone. He was 19 when he was abducted and murdered in October 1975.

Several searches have been carried out for his remains in a bog at Bragan, near Tydavnet, Co Monaghan since 1999. This is an ongoing project.

Irish Independent

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