Belfast Telegraph

Agony for family as search for Columba McVeigh finds no trace of body

Columba McVeigh
Columba McVeigh

By Staff Reporter

A renewed search for the remains of Columba McVeigh, abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1975, was called off yesterday after no trace of his body was found during a search at Bragan bog in Co Monaghan.

Columba is one of three of the Disappeared victims of the Troubles whose bodies have still to be found.

He was just 17 when he was kidnapped and murdered by the IRA.

The search for his remains was conducted by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR).

ICLVR senior investigator Jon Hill said it was a bitter blow for the McVeigh family. "It is a huge disappointment but we did absolutely everything we could in often difficult circumstances," he explained.

He said the terrain and the weather combined to make the search a "very challenging" piece of work.

"We covered the ground that had been identified to us and revisited areas that had been searched at the very beginning of the process nearly 20 years ago but to no avail.

"If Columba had been here, we would have found him," the investigator added.

Columba's sister Dympna McVeigh spoke yesterday of the family's anguish that his body had not been found.

"All we want is for him to be brought home to be buried alongside his mother and father so that he and they can rest in peace.

"Why is that too much to ask?

"What have we done to deserve this inhumane treatment?

"Someone knows where he is.

"If he was moved from one place to another someone knows about that.

"If they have any decency or humanity about them they will end this torture now."

Columba's brother Oliver added: "We are devastated by this news but we are also angry.

"Angry that people who have information are watching us suffer and are doing nothing."

Remains of two other IRA 'Disappeared' victims have also still to be recovered by the ICLVR team.

They are Army Captain Robert Nairac GC, and former monk and IRA man Joe Lynskey.

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