Human remains have been found by teams searching for a man who disappeared near the Irish border almost 30 years ago.
Father-of-five Charles Armstrong (57), from Crossmaglen, south Armagh, went missing on his way to Mass in 1981.
He is one of the so-called ‘Disappeared’ — the 14 men and women abducted and killed by republican paramilitaries at the height of the violence here. Five bodies have been recovered.
Last night the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains said the remains were found in Co Monaghan. No further details were revealed.
Mr Armstrong's family have been informed, along with police in the Republic and the State Pathologist. A statement said: “The recovery is ongoing and the formal identification process will take some time.”
Last July, forensic experts searching for Mr Armstrong's remains were handed a map which was thought could provide vital clues. The fresh information was sent anonymously and indicated a previously unsearched area in Co Monaghan.
At the time, several locations had already been searched near Carrickmacross, not far from the border with Northern Ireland.
The IRA admitted in 1999 that it murdered and buried nine of the Disappeared — Seamus Wright, Kevin McKee, Jean McConville, Columba McVeigh, Brendan Megraw, John McClory, Brian McKinney, Eamon Molloy and
Danny McElhone — in secret locations.
The bodies of Mr Molloy, Mr McKinney, Mr McClory, Mrs McConville and Mr McElhone have been found. Others who vanished during the Troubles include Gerry Evans, Robert Nairac and Seamus Ruddy, who disappeared in France and whose murder was admitted by the INLA.
Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams — who has been implicated in the disappearance of Mrs McConville himself — said: “If this is true it will come as a huge relief to the family of Charlie Armstrong, who for almost three decades have never given up hope of finding him.
“I have met the family many times and my thoughts are with them at this difficult time and as they await confirmation.”