'Our mother went to her grave broken-hearted': Irishman's plea 42 years after brother's murder
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'Our mother went to her grave broken-hearted': Irishman's plea 42 years after brother's murder

AN IRISHMAN whose mother 'went to her grave brokenhearted' has pleaded for information 40 years after his brother's murder. 

Oliver McVeigh was speaking on the 10th anniversary of his mother Vera's death, and over four decades on from his brother Columba's disappearance in 1975.

Columba McVeigh. (Picture: WAVE Trauma Centre)

"Our family cannot and will not rest until he is found and brought home," Mr McVeigh said.

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"It would mean that my mother could then rest in peace properly with Columba beside her as she wished for in her final days and this would also change our lives forever," he added.

During the Troubles, 16 people - known as the Disappeared - were abducted and murdered in Northern Ireland.

To date, only the remains of 10 victims have been recovered. Columba McVeigh is one of the six yet to be found.

From Donaghmore, in Co. Tyrone, Columba was 17 when he was abducted and killed on October 31, 1975.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International UK, with Oliver McVeigh brother of Columba McVeigh outside Stormont. (Picture: Kevin Cooper/Photoline)

He had been working as a painter in Dublin and had only returned to Northern Ireland just days before he disappeared.

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Although extensive searches, based on information received, have been carried out in bogland near Emyvale Co. Monaghan, his remains have yet to be recovered.

Now, in the same week remains were recovered in the search for fellow Disappeared victim Seamus Ruddy, Oliver McVeigh made a plea to those who have information on where Columba is buried, 10 years after his mother passed away.

"The work in France shows that with the right information the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains will locate and recover the remains of those so cruelly taken from us and secretly buried," he said.

"I am convinced that there are people out there who could end our suffering by getting what they know to the ICLVR. They can do it in complete confidence and at no risk to themselves."

One of the failed searches for Columba McVeigh in bogland in Co Monaghan. (Picture: Paul Sharp/Photocall Ireland)

“Like the other families of the Disappeared we were delighted to hear the news from France that the search for Seamus Ruddy was successful and that as soon as there is a formal identification his remains can be returned to his family for the Christian burial that was denied them for over 30 years," Mr McVeigh added.

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"That is all we want for our family."

Columba's name on a headstone, while his remains have yet to be found. (Picture: ICLVR)

"Seamus’ name is on the grave stone of his mother and Columba’s name is on my mother’s head stone," he said.

"Our mother went to her grave 10 years ago broken-hearted."

Anyone with information on the Disappeared can contact the ICLVR in complete confidence on 00800 555 85500, by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2. or via the website www.iclvr.ie.