Belfast Telegraph

'Disappeared' victim laid to rest

The killing of a man believed to have been abducted and murdered by the IRA at the height of Northern Ireland's conflict was senseless and cruel, a priest at his funeral said.

Peter Wilson, 21, was kidnapped after leaving his home in west Belfast in August 1973. His remains were recovered on a beach north of the city last month.

Innocent and child-like, he had learning difficulties and his family was devoted to him.

He was the ninth so-called Disappeared victim discovered and was found following a tip-off from republican sources.

Requiem Mass was held on Friday at Holy Cross Catholic church in west Belfast.

Fr Gary Donegan said: "Your death was so senseless and cruel. Each life is a unique creation, it mirrors its creator no matter how brief its existence."

Although 21, Mr Wilson had the intellect of a child of 13 or 14. The unemployed Catholic left his home in the Beechmount area and was never seen again. His family had to wait until searches produced the remains on November 2 this year in the seaside village of Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim.

Families of those killed held marches and campaigned for the bodies of their loved ones to be returned to them for burial. That prompted the British and Irish Governments to order fresh investigations organised by an independent commission.

Archaeologists and other experts carried out an examination and discovered Mr Wilson. Following a DNA examination, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) confirmed his identity.

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 probe by the ICLVR was triggered by a tip-off understood to have come from within the republican movement.

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