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Seamus Ruddy: Remains found in France confirmed as those of INLA murder victim

Human remains found in France at weekend have been confirmed as those of 'Disappeared' republican murder victim Seamus Ruddy.

The remains were found in a forest at Pont-de-l’Arche near Rouen in the north of the country.

The discovery was made by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains team who have been searching the site since Tuesday May 2.

The commission said DNA tests confirmed body found is Mr Ruddy.

Mr Ruddy, from Newry, Co Down, was abducted from Paris, killed and buried by the republican paramilitary group the INLA in 1985. He became one of the "Disappeared" victims of the conflict.

An ICLVR statement said: "The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains has announced that the French authorities have completed the DNA profiling of the remains recovered from a forest at Pont-de-l'Arche, near Rouen.

"The remains have been confirmed as those of Seamus Ruddy. The remains will be repatriated in due course."

Mr Ruddy's sister, Anne Morgan, visited the forest at Pont-de-l'Arche outside Rouen in northern France last week.

Ms Morgan told BBC Radio Ulster on Wednesday: "As the family are getting older it is more poignant now we are able to bring him home and at least we will have some sort of closure."

"At this time it becomes a very personal family journey but we are prepared for this and we are all together for this.

"Those 32 years were the longest years that we had to wait for this, the next few weeks won't be as bad."

There have been three previous searches in the forest area for Mr Ruddy, the most recent by the ICLVR in 2008.

The commission's experts, who require those with knowledge of the crimes to come forward and provide information without fear of prosecution, were hopeful the 500 square metre area they are focusing on this time would hold Mr Ruddy's remains.

Who are the Disappeared?

Sixteen people have been acknowledged of Disappeared victims of the Northern Ireland Troubles.

All were abducted, murdered and buried secretly by republican paramilitaries during the conflict.

Following news that remains found in northern France are those of Co Down teacher Seamus Ruddy, here is a list of the other 15 victims.

  • Eugene Simons, from Castlewellan, Co Down, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in May 1984 (prior to establishment of commission) in a bog in Dundalk, Co Louth.
     
  • Eamonn Molloy, from north Belfast, disappeared in 1975. His body was recovered in May 1999 in a coffin left at the Old Faughart Cemetery outside Dandily, Co Louth.
     
  • John McClory, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in June 1999 in bogland at Colgagh, Inniskeen, Co Monaghan.
     
  • Brian McKinney, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in June 1999 in the same grave as Mr McClory at Inniskeen.
     
  • Jean McConville, a widowed mother of 10 from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. Her body was found in August 2003 at Shelling Beach, Co Louth by a member of the public walking in the aftermath of a storm that had exposed her remains.
     
  • Danny McIlhone, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in November 2008 in bogland at Blessingtown, Co Wicklow.
     
  • Charlie Armstrong, from south Armagh, disappeared in 1981. His body was recovered in July 2010 in bogland at Colgagh, Iniskeen, Co Monaghan.
     
  • Gerry Evans, from south Armagh, disappeared in 1979. His body was recovered in October 2010 at Carrickrobin, Co Louth.
     
  • Peter Wilson disappeared in 1973. His body was recovered in November 2010 buried at a beach at Waterfoot, Co Antrim.
     
  • Brendan Megraw, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1978. His body was recovered in October 2014 in bogland at Oristown, Co Navan.
     
  • Kevin McKee, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. His body was recovered in June 2015 from reclaimed bogland at a farm near Coghalstown, Co Meath.
     
  • Seamus Wright, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. His body was recovered in June 2015 in the same grave as Mr McKee at Coghalstown, Co Meath.

Those yet to be found:

  • Joe Lynskey, from west Belfast, disappeared in 1972. Searches have been carried out in the same area where Mr McKee and Mr Wright were found.
     
  • Columba McVeigh, from Donaghmore, Co Tyrone, disappeared in 1975. Searches have been conducted at Emyvale Forest, Co Monaghan.
     
  • British Army Captain Robert Nairac disappeared in 1977 from a south Armagh pub.

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