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Remains of Disappeared victim found in Co Louth

A body believed to be that of Gerard Evans - one of the so-called "Disappeared" killed and buried by republicans during the Troubles - has been discovered days after a 16-month search ended.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR), which was searching for the body of Mr Evans, last seen hitch-hiking in 1979, said it had found human remains at Carrickrobin in County Louth.

Two weeks ago, forensic experts scouring the site said they had found no remains after an operation lasting a year and a half. ICLVR confirmed at the time that all survey and search work at Carrickrobin would halt within days. An ICLVR spokesman said then: "Regrettably, to date, the remains of Gerard Evans have not been found."

Mr Evans vanished while hitch-hiking outside Castleblaney, Co Monaghan, in 1979. He was 24. His family lived in Crossmaglen, south Armagh close to another Disappeared victim, Charlie Armstrong.

The remains of Mr Armstrong, who went missing in 1981, were recently buried after being discovered in bogland in Co Monaghan last July. After Mr Armstrong's funeral, the Evans family spoke of their deep regret that their relative could not be afforded a proper burial.

But in a surprise development, the commission carrying out the search said on Friday that human remains had been found.

In 1999 the IRA admitted it had killed and secretly buried nine of the 16 Disappeared, while the republican Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) admitted to one of the deaths.

Noel Evans, brother of the missing man, said his family hoped their long wait would soon be at an end.

"We have just heard the news this morning. Our hope is that this will be Gerry and it will bring an end to 31 years of searching," he said.

"We are waiting on further information and are unable to make further comment at this time. We wait in hope."

PA Media