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Disappeared (Northern Ireland)

The Disappeared are people believed to have been abducted, murdered and secretly buried in Northern Ireland,[1] the majority of which occurred during the Troubles. The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) is in charge of locating the remaining bodies,[2] and was led by forensic archaeologist John McIlwaine.[3]

Background

Of the sixteen people investigated by the ICLVR, all were Catholics (Jean McConville was a convert), all except McConville were male, and all are believed to have been abducted and killed by Irish Republicans.[4][5][6]

The Provisional IRA admitted to being involved in the forced disappearance of nine of the sixteen – Eamon Molloy, Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, and Danny McIlhone. British Army officer Robert Nairac, who disappeared from South Armagh, was a Mauritius-born Roman Catholic.[7][8] The organisation said they could only accurately locate the body of one of their victims, but gave rough ideas for the remaining eight.[9][10] As of September 2017, the remains of three of the victims have still not been found.

History

1970s

Joseph Lynskey (40), a veteran Irish Republican paramilitary and Provisional Irish Republican Army member from Cavendish Street in Belfast, disappeared during a violent internal PIRA feud in the city in August 1972. In 2009 Dolours Price, a former PIRA member, stated in an interview with a newspaper that she had driven him in a car out of Northern Ireland to a PIRA "safe house" in County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland shortly before his disappearance. In January 2010 the PIRA issued a statement that Lynskey had been killed by it as a part of an internal disciplinary process, and his body had subsequently been buried in an unmarked grave. In December 2014 a specialist team from the Garda Siochana was reported to be carrying out a search of an area of Coghalstown Bog in County Meath for Lynskey's body.[11]

Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10, disappeared in December 1972. Her body was found on a beach in County Louth in 2003; in October 2014 a man was arrested in connection with her murder,[12] and two further men were arrested in December 2014.[13]

Peter Wilson, 21, a native of West Belfast, with five siblings, was described as "a vulnerable man with learning difficulties".[14] He was abducted by the IRA in the summer of 1973, somewhere in the St James area of Belfast, killed and secretly buried at Waterfoot, County Antrim.[15]

Columba McVeigh, a 17-year-old from Donaghmore, County Tyrone, disappeared in 1975. The IRA allege he had confessed to being a British Army agent, instructed to infiltrate the IRA.[16]

Brendan Megraw disappeared in 1978. In August 2014 a bog in County Meath was searched for his body,[17] with human remains discovered in September.[18]

Gerard Evans, 24, was a man from Crossmaglen who disappeared while hitchhiking in County Monaghan in March 1979.[19] In March 2008 a map was given to Evans' aunt. In 2008, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains appealed for more information regarding his disappearance.[20] Remains were found in County Louth in October 2010,[21] which were later confirmed as being Evans' in November 2010.[22] An alleged member of the Provisional IRA South Armagh Brigade told the Sunday Tribune that Evans was executed for being an informer.[23]

1980s

Charles Armstrong was a 54-year-old father-of-five who went missing in Crossmaglen while walking to mass in 1981; his car was later found in Dundalk.[19] The IRA denied any involvement in his disappearance at the time. Armstrong's family began a fresh, private search for his remains in October 2003.[24] They were located in County Monaghan, Ireland in July 2010.[25] No reason has ever been publicly proferred for Armstrong's abduction and murder.

2000s

In September 2015 the bodies of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee were found in a bog in Coghalstown, County Meath.[26]

In May 2017 a body was found in a forest in northern France identified as that of Seamus Ruddy.[27]

There were two further disappearances in the 2000s. Gareth O'Connor, believed to have been a member of the Real IRA, disappeared while driving from Armagh to Dundalk in 2003. His body was discovered in Newry in 2005.[28][29] In March 2005, Lisa Dorrian disappeared after attending a party at a caravan park in Ballyhalbert. She is believed to have been taken by loyalists.[28][30][31]

List of Disappeared

Name Location[a] Age Year of disappearance Year of body being found Suspects Reference(s)
Charles Armstrong Crossmaglen 54 1981 2010 Republicans [32]
Gerard Evans County Monaghan, Ireland 24 1979 2010 Republicans [32]
Joe Lynskey Belfast 40 1972 Still missing Republicans [19][33][34][35]
John McClory Belfast 17 1978 1999 Republicans [19][36]
Jean McConville Belfast 38 1972 2003 Republicans [19][37]
Danny McIlhone Belfast 21 1981 2008 Republicans [19][38][39]
Kevin McKee South Armagh 17 1972 2015 Republicans [19][40][41]
Brian McKinney Belfast 22 1978 1999 Republicans [19][42]
Columba McVeigh Dublin, Ireland 17 1975 Still missing Republicans [19][43][44]
Brendan Megraw Belfast 24 1978 2014 Republicans [18][19]
Eamon Molloy Belfast 22 1975 1999 Republicans [19][45][46]
Robert Nairac Dromintee, South Armagh 28 1977 Still missing Republicans [19][47][48]
Seamus Ruddy Paris, France 32 1985 2017 Republicans [19][49][50]
Eugene Simons Castlewellan, County Down 26 1981 1984 Republicans [19]
Peter Wilson Belfast 21 1973 2010 Republicans [19][51][52][53]
Seamus Wright South Armagh 25 1972 2015 Republicans [19][40]

Disappearances since 1999

Name Location Age Year of disappearance Year of body being found Suspects Reference(s)
Lisa Dorrian Ballyhalbert 25 2005 Still missing Loyalists [28]
Gareth O'Connor Newtownhamilton 24 2003 2005 Republicans [29]
  1. ^ Location of disappearance; in Northern Ireland unless otherwise stated

References

  1. ^ "About the Disappeared". The Disappeared of Northern Ireland. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Never lose heart, 'disappeared' families told". BBC News. 4 June 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  3. ^ "The Disappeared: Archaeologist John McIlwaine dies". BBC News. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Disappeared, reuters.com; accessed 7 September 2015.
  5. ^ "The Disappeared". Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Disappeared issue 'a festering wound' says McGuinness". BBC News. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  7. ^ Robert Nairac profile, bbc.co.uk; accessed 7 September 2015.
  8. ^ "Profiles of the 'disappeared'". BBC News. 28 May 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  9. ^ "'Disappeared' return to haunt Ireland's conscience". BBC News. 7 June 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  10. ^ "IRA: No more clues on 'disappeared'". BBC News. 1 June 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  11. ^ 'Disappeared IRA victim & Provo love triangle', 'Independent.ie', 7 December 2014. [www.independent.ie.]
  12. ^ "Jean McConville murder: 73-year-old man arrested in Dunmurry". BBC News. 30 October 2014. Retrieved 4 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Jean McConville murder: Two men arrested over 'Disappeared' death". BBC News. 22 December 2014. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  14. ^ "Peter Wilson: 'Disappeared' by the IRA, found at the beach his family treasured". BelfastTelegraph.co.uk. 3 November 2010. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  15. ^ "CAIN: Sutton Index of Deaths". Cain.ulst.ac.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Adams 'at heart' of IRA's most shameful killing campaign", The Guardian, 30 September 2002.
  17. ^ "Remains The Disappeared: Meath bog to be searched for Brendan Megraw". BBC News. 22 August 2014. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  18. ^ a b "The Disappeared: Human remains found in search for Brendan Megraw". BBC News. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p "Who were the 'Disappeared'?". BBC News. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Appeal from Disappeared searchers". BBC News. 1 October 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  21. ^ "Family of "Disappeared" Gerry Evans hope for closure". BBC News. 19 October 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  22. ^ "Remains were 'Disappeared' Crossmaglen man Gerry Evans". BBC News. 29 November 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  23. ^ Suzanne Breen (17 October 2010). "Masked IRA man's map leads to body in Louth". Sunday Tribune. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  24. ^ "Fresh 'Disappeared' search". BBC News. 22 October 2003. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  25. ^ "Widow's relief as remains found in 'Disappeared' search". BBC News. 31 July 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  26. ^ Wright and McKee bodies located, bbc.co.uk; accessed 10 September 2015.
  27. ^ "Seamus Ruddy: Human remains found in search of French forest". belfasttelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
  28. ^ a b c Draft List of Deaths Related to the Conflict from 2002, cain.ulst.ac.uk; accessed 7 September 2015.
  29. ^ a b "Gareth O'Connor". The Disappeared of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  30. ^ "Lisa Dorrian". The Disappeared of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  31. ^ Henry McDonald (31 July 2005). "Looking for Lisa". The Observer. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  32. ^ a b "RTÉ Special report". RTÉ News. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  33. ^ "Commission to investigate Joe Lynskey death". BBC News. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  34. ^ "Forty years later, IRA finally admits to man's 'execution'". Belfast Telegraph. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  35. ^ "Buried Secrets". The Pensive Quill. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2014.
  36. ^ "Body finds encourage searchers". BBC News. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  37. ^ "Jean McConville's daughter recalls mother's abduction by IRA". BBC News. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  38. ^ "Family of IRA victim 'at peace'". BBC News. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  39. ^ "Missing man shot dead after struggle with IRA abductors". The Irish Times. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  40. ^ a b Rosie Cowan (30 September 2002). "Adams 'at heart' of IRA's most shameful killing campaign". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  41. ^ McNamee, Michael Sheils. "After "43 years of pain" IRA victim Kevin McKee is laid to rest". TheJournal.ie. Archived from the original on 14 September 2015. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  42. ^ "'My tears for Brian'". BBC News. 17 July 2002. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  43. ^ "Columba McVeigh: Brother calls for more information from IRA". BBC News. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  44. ^ "Columba McVeigh". The Disappeared of Northern Ireland. Archived from the original on 22 November 2013. Retrieved 3 May 2014.
  45. ^ "'Disappeared' victim identified". BBC News. 20 July 1999. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  46. ^ "A prayer before dying: IRA took priest to Disappeared victim before murder". BBC News. 3 November 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  47. ^ "McGuinness in Nairac body appeal". BBC News. 20 June 2007. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  48. ^ "RTE Prime Time Cased Profile (with video)". RTE PrimeTime. 3 May 2017. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
  49. ^ "Family of INLA murder man misled". BBC News. 22 July 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  50. ^ "Remains found in France confirmed to be Seamus Ruddy". The Journal.ie. 10 May 2017.
  51. ^ "Fresh 'Disappeared' dig for Peter Wilson announced". BBC News. 26 October 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  52. ^ "Remains were 'Disappeared' man Peter Wilson's". BBC News. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 17 April 2014.
  53. ^ "Inquest into death of 'Disappeared' man Peter Wilson". BBC News. 11 March 2011. Retrieved 17 April 2014.

External links