Belfast Telegraph

Hunt for bodies of Northern Ireland's remaining Disappeared intensifies

By Tom Brady

The search for the bodies of the three remaining victims of the Provisional IRA, who were classified as the Disappeared, is to be ramped up.

Sixteen victims were described as "disappeared" with the Provisional IRA, then the military wing of Sinn Fein, admitting responsibility for 13 of the savage murders.

A search operation which has been under way for almost two decades has been given fresh impetus by the appointment of Tim Dalton as Ireland's commissioner to the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR).

Mr Dalton was secretary general of the Department of Justice from 1993 to 2004 and played a key role in the negotiations that led to the IRA ceasefire and the signing of the Good Friday agreement.

Mr Dalton is a member of the Commission for Future of Policing in Ireland, which was set up in the wake of several Garda scandals and is due to complete its work in September.

The three victims, whose remains have yet to be located, include Joseph Lynskey from Belfast, who was abducted and killed by the Provisional IRA in the summer of 1972.

In April, the latest search for Mr Lynskey ended in failure in a small wooded area at Oristown in Co Meath.

Mr Lysnkey was a former Cistercian monk who later joined the IRA. He was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the Provos in 1972, but it was not until 2010 that they admitted to killing him. During a previous search for Mr Lynskey at Coghalstown in 2015, the remains of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright were recovered.

Captain Robert Nairac (29) was an officer with the Grenadier Guards on a tour of duty in Northern Ireland when he was abducted in Co Armagh and murdered in May 1977.

It is believed that his remains lie in the Ravensdale area of Co Louth or near Jonesborough in south Armagh.

Also missing is Columba McVeigh from Donaghmore, Co Tyrone. He was 19 years old when he was abducted and murdered in October 1975.

Several searches have been carried out for his remains in a bog at Bragan, near Tydavnet, Co Monaghan, since 1999. This is an ongoing project.

Just last month a verdict of "unlawful killing by a person or persons unknown" was returned by a jury at the inquest in Dublin into the death of Newry man Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared.

His remains were found in a forest at Pont de L'Arche near Rouen in northern France by the ICLVR in May 2017. He had been abducted from Paris where he had been teaching was murdered and secretly buried by the INLA in 1985.

Anyone with information on the Disappeared should contact the ICLVR on 00800 555 85500, by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2, or via the website at

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