Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Missing victims of past who still haunt the IRA

This question of the ‘Disappeared’ keeps pulling the IRA back into its past and into a dark period stretching from 1972 to 1981.

It is an issue that haunts the republican movement, the ‘disappearing’ of bodies after people were abducted and shot.

Peter Wilson’s name is not on the IRA list “of people executed and buried by Oglaigh na hEireann”.

That list was read to me in a meeting with the organisation’s leadership spokesman ‘P O’Neill’ in west Belfast in March 1999.

We sat in his car.

It was a detailed statement and briefing in which the IRA recognised that this had “caused incalculable pain and distress to a number of families over a period of many years”.

That pain continues. It won’t go away.

And this chapter from the IRA’s past has not been closed.

In that 1999 briefing the IRA said: “As we have previously stated, we are not responsible for all those previously listed in the media as having gone missing over the last 30 years. We are responsible for those we have acknowledged today and their families have all been notified.”

The man I was sitting beside on that March evening more than a decade ago then listed nine names — Seamus Wright; Kevin McKee; Eamon Molloy; Jean McConville; Columba McVeigh; Brendan Megraw; John McClory; Brian McKinney, and Danny McIlhone.

“As part of this investigation we also endeavoured to locate the burial site of British SAS operative Robert Nairac,” the IRA’s P O’Neill said.

“We were unable to do so.”

Ten years ago 10 names were listed in that republican briefing.

Peter Wilson was not mentioned, not then and not since.

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