Belfast Telegraph

'Disappeared' remains brought home

The remains of one of the IRA's "Disappeared" victims have been brought back to his home town of Belfast - 36 years after he was abducted and murdered.

A coffin carrying Brendan Megraw was carried into his brother Kieran's house in the west of the city for a wake the family have waited more than three decades to hold.

He returned home six weeks after his body was finally found buried in a remote bog at Oristown in rural Co Meath in the Irish Republic.

The 23-year-old was snatched by the IRA from his home in the Twinbrook area of west Belfast in April, 1978.

The newly-wed was eagerly expecting the birth of a daughter when he was dragged away by the IRA and killed.

Mr Megraw's funeral service will be held in Belfast on Friday morning.

This afternoon Kieran Megraw lit candles around his brother's coffin and reflected upon a day he feared might never come.

"It's just tremendous to feel we now have him back home," he said.

"We always dreamed about it, thought about it, hoped and prayed for it."

Mr Megraw was found through the efforts of the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains.

The commission, set up by the British and Irish governments in the wake of the Good Friday peace agreement, was tasked with investigating the cases of 16 people killed and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles.

Six victims are still to be found.

Last week the commission announced that preliminary searches for another of victim have started close to the same rural bog where Mr Megraw was found.

Specialist forensic investigators are scanning sections of land in the locality of the Oristown bog with radar for the remains of former west Belfast monk Joe Lynskey.

Mr Lynskey went missing in 1972 but it was only in 2010 when the IRA finally admitted to killing and secretly burying him.

It is suspected two more of the disappeared - Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright - are buried in moorland only a few miles from the Oristown bog in an area near Wilkinstown, Co Meath.

The date of death on the bronze plate atop Mr Megraw's coffin is October 1, 2014 - reflecting that his death was only legally confirmed the day his body was unearthed in a drainage ditch in the bog.

In reality his remains had laid undiscovered in that desolate landscape for 36 long years.

His brother stressed the need for more information to help end the other six families' search.

All information passed to the commission is confidential and cannot be used in criminal prosecutions.

"We have been in this situation ourselves when a body has been found and you're still wondering are we going to get our own loved one back," said Mr Megraw.

"There are six families still waiting so anybody who is listening or sees the pictures everything is in place, please bring forward the information to the commission."

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