Belfast Telegraph

Body find gives fresh hope to other families of Disappeared

By Chris Kilpatrick

The brothers of a so-called Disappeared victim said the discovery of his remains after 36 years has given hope to other families.

The eighth annual Silent Walk by families of those abducted and murdered by republicans took place at Stormont yesterday.

The walk takes place on All Souls Day from Carson's statue to the steps of Parliament Buildings to mark the ongoing plight of those who have yet to locate family members.

Among those taking part were Kieran and Sean Megraw.

Last month a team from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) recovered a body believed to be that of their brother Brendan, who was brutally murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1978.

The Megraw family is awaiting DNA confirmation. "The family have been hoping and praying for so many years that Brendan would be recovered from the desolate place he was hidden all those years ago so that he can be buried along side his mother and father in the family grave where he should rest," Kieran Megaw said.

"We are truly grateful for the dedication of the commission who have made this possible and also to whoever came forward with more accurate information.

"The system in place to find the Disappeared works and there are other families with us today who need the same help from those who have information.

"We appeal for anyone with information to come forward."

A black wreath containing white lilies to represent those who have yet to found was carried by Dympna Kerr, the sister of Columba McVeigh, whose remains are believed to lie in Braggan Bog in Co Monaghan.

ICLVR was set up by the British and Irish governments to liaise with former paramilitaries to find the Disappeared.

Ten bodies have been found, but seven remain missing.

Jon Hill of the ICLVR, who led the investigation when the remains were found, also attended yesterday's event.

Sandra Peake from the WAVE Trauma Centre said the walk was "a source of comfort through the mutual support and solidarity of all the families".

"Their spirits have been lifted by the recent recovery of remains at Oristown and the bitter sweet news for the Megraw family," she added.

"We all hope that information will come forward to end the suffering of those who still wait for their loved ones to be returned."

Background

Brendan Megraw was just 23 when he was abducted from his Twinbrook home in 1978. He had been looking forward to the birth of his first child at the time.

Forensic tests are under way to identify the remains, found in a drainage ditch. Those still missing include Joe Lynskey, a Cistercian monk from Belfast, and Captain Robert Nairac of the SAS.

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