THE remains of at least two bodies have been found on farmland in Coghalstown, Co. Meath where three of the IRA 'Disappeared' are believed to have been secretly buried.
The Disappeared are those who were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by paramilitaries during the Troubles.
The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) said a search for the body of former monk Joe Lynskey has unearthed the remains of two bodies.
A statement from the ICLVR said: “Human remains have been found at Coghalstown Co. Meath at the site where the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains have been searching for the body of Joe Lynskey.
"The discovery was made by contractors under the supervision of a forensic archaeologist working for the ICLVR.
"Following the recovery of the body the State Pathologist will begin the process of post-mortem and of formal identification.”
Mr Lynskey was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972.
The remains of IRA victims Séamus Wright and Kevin McKee are also believed to be buried in the vicinity.
Senior ICLVR investigator Jon Hill said he was "confident that there are two" bodies but there "could be more".
"We were searching for the remains of Joe Lynskey, only expecting to find the remains of one person," he told BBC Radio Ulster's Good Morning Ulster programme.
"As the archaeologists were uncovering the remains they had found, it became clear that there was more than one where we were searching."
Mr Hill said he thought the two bodies "were probably buried together".
While the remains have not yet been identified, he said the families of Mr Wright and Mr McKee were "absolutely shocked".
Mr McKee's sister Maria said she was feeling a mixture of emotions after being informed that one of the bodies could be that of her brother.
"It's a happy time, but it's also going to be a sad time," Ms McKee said.
"The sad thing about it is my mummy only missed it by three years. On her deathbed she did ask for Kevin.
"It's unreal, it's surreal to us."
Joe Lynskey's family have waited 43-years to give him a proper burial, and are said to be shocked but relieved at the news of the discovery.
Mr Lynsky was a former Cistercian monk from west Belfast.
Some 10 bodies of the Disappeared have been recovered since the ICLVR began its operations in 1999.