Public information ‘key’ to locating remaining Disappeared victims of Troubles

Public information ‘key’ to locating remaining Disappeared victims of Troubles

IRELAND’S Justice Minister has called on the Irish public to come forward with any information that may help recover the remains of the victims of the Troubles known at the Disappeared.

Following a meeting with the families of those missing, referred to as the Disappeared as their remains have never been found, Minister Simon Harris pledged to continue to search for them.

“The government is deeply committed to alleviating the suffering of victims and we will continue to support the efforts being made to locate those who have not yet been found,” he said, after meeting with the families at Leinster House.

“We must always remember the Disappeared, and never forget that some families are still awaiting the return of their loved ones,” he added.

"Our resolve in government to support the efforts of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains and the families of the Disappeared is as strong as ever.”

Justice Minister Simon Harris, centre, pictured with family members of the Disappeared

The Disappeared were victims of paramilitary violence who were murdered and secretly buried during the Troubles.

In 1999 the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) was established following an agreement between the governments of Ireland and the UK.

Through its work to find the remains of the 17 names on the Disappeared list, only four remain to be located.

They are Joseph Lynskey, Columba McVeigh, Robert Nairac and Seamus Maguire.

Families of the victims, both those located and still missing, were in Dublin yesterday for the government meeting, where they were supported by Sandra Peake, CEO of Wave Trauma Centre.

Claiming it was “an honour to meet families of the Disappeared”, Minister Harris now called on the public to assist the ongoing search for those who have yet to be found.

Gerry McGinley, brother-in-law of Peter Wilson, Senator Emer Currie, Anne Morgan, sister of Seamus Ruddy, Oliver McVeigh, brother of Columba McVeigh, Sandra Peek, CEO of the Wave Trauma group, Michael McConville, son of Jean McConville, and Shelia Bodden, sister of Eugene Simons after their meeting with Minister for Justice Simon Harris

“The ICLVR, with the support of the Irish and British Governments, continues to work tirelessly on behalf of the families of the Disappeared,” he said.

"The ICLVR’s investigations are complex and difficult, and information from the public is the key to locating those who are still missing.”

He added: “There are people out there who still have information which would help the families.

“I would call on anyone with information that could help recover the remains of those still missing to pass that information to the Commission without delay, safe in the knowledge that it will be treated in the strictest confidence."

The role of the ICLVR is purely humanitarian, with its only aim is to recover the remains of the Disappeared in order to allow the families to give their loved ones a proper burial.

The names of the 17 Disappeared are:

Joe Lynskey                                         Missing

Columba McVeigh                               Missing

Robert Nairac                                      Missing

Seamus Maguire                                 Missing

Eugene Simons                                   Located 1984

John McClory                                      Located 1999

Brian McKinney                                  Located 1999

Eamon Molloy                                     Located 1999

Jean McConville                                  Located 2003

Danny McIlhone                                 Located 2008

Charles Armstrong                              Located 2010

Gerard Evans                                       Located 2010

Peter Wilson                                       Located 2010

Brendan Megraw                                Located 2014

Kevin McKee                                       Located 2015

Seamus Wright                                   Located 2015

Seamus Ruddy                                    Located 2017