Belfast Telegraph

Sister's sorrow as the remains of Seamus Ruddy are identified

By Michael McHugh

The sister of a 'Disappeared' victim whose body has now been officially identified has said after the 32 years since Seamus Ruddy's murder, "inside a minute life has changed once again for us".

Anne Morgan was speaking after DNA profiling by French investigators confirmed the remains belonged to the 32-year-old teacher from Co Down.

Mr Ruddy was abducted from Paris, then murdered and buried in secret by the INLA in 1985.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) announced on Saturday that it had discovered a body at Pont-de-l'Arche, near Rouen, in northern France.

It later said an identification had been made. Ms Morgan told BBC Radio Ulster: "All those years of waiting to get this news, inside a minute life has changed once again for us."

She said the body will have to be taken to Dublin "and eventually we will take him home to Newry".

"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."

One of her other brothers died last September.

"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."

Experts began a fresh search of the wooded area a week ago.

Secretary of State James Brokenshire said this will be a desperately sad time for Mr Ruddy's family and loved ones.

"I would like to express my sympathy as steps are now taken to bring Seamus home."

"My thoughts remain with all those families who are still awaiting the recovery of the remains of their loved ones."

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

The ICLVR was set up during the peace process by the UK and Irish governments to recover the bodies of the 'Disappeared' - those murdered and secretly buried, mainly by the IRA, in the 1970s and 1980s.

There had been a number of previous searches in the same forest area for Mr Ruddy, the most recent by the ICLVR in 2008.

The latest recovery leaves three of the 16 Disappeared victims still missing. The remains of Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac have yet to be found.

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