Belfast Telegraph

Family plea to find Disappeared as Brendan is finally laid to rest

By Chris Kilpatrick

The grieving family of Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw urged anybody who can help end the torment of other families to come forward, as they finally laid their sibling to rest.

Newly-wed Mr Megraw (23) was abducted from his west Belfast home and shot by the IRA in 1978. His remains were recovered from a bog in Co Meath in the Republic last month.

Among hundreds of mourners at his funeral at St Oliver Plunkett Church in Lenadoon yesterday were Mr Megraw's siblings Kieran, Sean and Deirdre.

Families of other Disappeared victims also took part in the service, including children of mother-of-10 Jean McConville who was murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972. Candles were lit for each of the 17 victims and addressing the packed church, Brendan's brother Kieran said: "It's been a long journey since Brendan was taken away back in April 1978.

"We didn't know what had happened to him, then it turned out he wasn't coming back.

"Days passed to weeks, then months, then years. Many people have helped us on this journey to get Brendan here today."

Fr Aidan Brankin, parish priest at St Oliver Plunkett Chapel in Belfast, said: "Brendan is finally getting the dignity of a funeral mass and today we pray for the happy repose of his soul. Among those November dead lists, his name is written many times along with all those who have loved us or who touched our lives with their love, their friendship and their faith."

Fr Brankin said Mr Megraw's mother Brigid had prayed for her son's return but never lived to see it, passing away in 2002.

"She wasn't just praying for Brendan. She prayed for all those who had been taken," he said.

"She shared in the joy of other families of the Disappeared when their loved ones were found. She shared their disappointments when a search proved unsuccessful.

"They became like an extended family, supporting, encouraging and praying for each other - putting out appeals for fresh information, even having their own song." Fr Brankin said Mr Megraw's family and friends were praying for those who are still missing, hoping that they too will soon be found.

People from Oristown, where Mr Megraw's remains were recovered, also attended the funeral.

Bishop Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, said: "It is a matter of deep regret to the parish of Oristown that such evil acts took place."

Mr Megraw was buried alongside his mother and father Robert in the village of Glenavy.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said that searches for another victim, Joe Lynskey, had started close to the bog.

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