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Families in fresh appeal for help to find Disappeared

By Brett Campbell

Published 03/11/2016

Dympna Kerr and Oliver McVeigh, whose brother Columba went missing in 1975, at Stormont yesterday
Dympna Kerr and Oliver McVeigh, whose brother Columba went missing in 1975, at Stormont yesterday
Columba McVeigh

Families of the Disappeared have pleaded for information on the whereabouts of their loved ones after staging a silent walk at Stormont.

A black wreath with four white lilies was laid on the steps of Parliament Buildings, with each lily representing someone whose remains are still missing.

Kieran Megraw, whose brother Brendan's body was found in September 2014, said: "Every year on All Souls' Day we carry this black wreath with the white lilies representing those who remain Disappeared.

"When we started the wreath was full of white lilies. There are now only four lilies left and we want to ensure that these are removed when those still Disappeared are found."

Earlier, more than 30 relatives walked in solemn silence from Carson's statue.

They were led by Dympna Kerr, whose brother Columba was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975. His remains have never been found despite several searches.

Dympna pleaded for someone to come forward and help end their 41 years of torment.

She said: "We have had information and we have had digs but there is something missing. All we want is somebody to just make that phone call and give us that last little bit of information."

Linda Pywell and Sandra McKinney, siblings of Brian McKinney, were at the walk for the first time.

Brian was 22 when he was abducted in 1978. His remains were recovered from a bog in Co Monaghan in 1999.

His mother Margaret played a pivotal role in elevating the issue of the Disappeared when she told her story to President Bill Clinton at the White House in 1998. Linda said: "My mother has always supported the campaign for the Disappeared.

"It brought Brian back for her. She felt very much that President Clinton was instrumental in returning Brian's body and she had the privilege of meeting him.

"She knows what it means to get a body back and have a grave to go to."

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