Belfast Telegraph

Vow to recover murdered man's body

The family of a man murdered and secretly buried by republicans has said the passage of time will not weaken their resolve to find his body.

Seamus Ruddy, 32, was teaching in Paris when he was killed by IRA splinter group the Irish National Liberation Army (INLA) in 1985.

Investigators believe the victim - one of those known as the Disappeared - was buried in a forest in northern France.

His sister Anne Morgan said: "Each year that passes is more difficult than the last but we will not allow that to weaken us.

"Seamus' name is on our mother's headstone ready for him to join her and someday he will."

Mr Ruddy, from Newry in Co Down in Northern Ireland, was one of 16 "disappeared" victims of paramilitaries whose bodies have never been found. It is the anniversary of his kidnapping 29 years ago on Friday.

Jean McConville's abduction and murder by the IRA has been the most high-profile of cases.

The killings span more than 31 years. Of those connected to republican activity, nine were named by the IRA in spring 1999 as having been murdered by members of their organisation and their bodies hidden across a number of areas in the Republic of Ireland. Seven bodies have been found but others remain missing.

The INLA claimed Mr Ruddy's death.

Forensics-led searches have been carried out by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR), established in 1999 by treaty between the British and Irish governments to obtain information.

Renewed searches were carried out for Mr Ruddy in 2008 after his family were told his remains were in a forest in Normandy, but they found nothing.

Ms Morgan was the last member of the family to see him when she visited Paris in April 1985 just days before he disappeared.

She added: "We will never give up hope that someone, somewhere will come forward with the information that we need to find Seamus and bring him home to rest.

"The fact that he is buried so far away makes it especially hard."

She appealed for anybody with information to contact the Commission.

Sandra Peake, chief executive of the Wave Trauma Centre, said: "The families of the Disappeared draw great strength from each other and those who have had their loved ones brought home want nothing more than to see Anne and the others get the news they have waited so long to hear.

"This is a nothing less than a fundamental humanitarian issue and Wave will continue to support the families through this ordeal."


From Belfast Telegraph