Belfast Telegraph

IRA victim's remains identified

Body remains recovered from a beach in Northern Ireland were that of an IRA murder victim secretly buried after going missing nearly 40 years ago, authorities have confirmed.

Peter Wilson, 21, was abducted and later killed by the Provisionals after leaving his home in west Belfast in August 1973.

Archaeologists and other experts carried out an examination in the seaside village of Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim and discovered him last month. He is the ninth so-called Disappeared victim to be recovered.

Following a DNA examination, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) confirmed: "The results positively indicate that the remains are those of Mr Peter Wilson.

"The Coroners Service for Northern Ireland has accepted this as evidence of identification and has authorised the release of the remains to the family."

The unemployed Catholic, who had learning disabilities, left his home in the Beechmount area of west Belfast. He was never seen again. The ICLVR was behind the search which produced the remains on November 2.

Mr Wilson's family believes the IRA was responsible for the murder, although the organisation's leadership has never officially admitted the killing. The new search by the ICLVR was triggered by a tip-off understood to have come from within the republican movement.

In a cruel twist, it has emerged that Mr Wilson's mother, brother and sisters often visited the beauty spot without ever knowing he could have been buried beneath their feet.

Fifteen men and one woman disappeared during the Troubles and their families fear they were killed by republicans.

The latest excavation is the first search undertaken in Northern Ireland and the first in a populated area.

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