Belfast Telegraph

Cadaver dog aids search for ex-monk

Investigators scouring bogland for the remains of a former Cistercian monk have brought in a specialist sniffer dog to help with the search.

Joe Lynskey went missing from west Belfast in August 1972.

Almost 40 years later, the IRA admitted it had kidnapped, killed and secretly buried him.

Lead investigator Geoff Knupfer said: "We will use every means at our disposal to try to narrow the search area until hopefully we get to a point where we can bring in the forensic archaeologists to go beneath the surface.

"The cadaver dog is one of the resources we can use."

The dog had been specially trained to detect signs of human remains and will work alongside geophysicists using ground penetrating radar to identify anomalies under the surface which could indicate a grave site.

Preparatory work at the site in Coghalstown Co Meath was started last month after the International Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICVLR) said it had received fresh information.

The searches are being carried out close to Oristown Bog where the remains of 23-year-old Brendan Megraw were recovered last month.

Mr Knupfer added: "As with of all of the Disappeared we are facing a huge task in this case going back over 40 years and dealing with a search area of around six hectares (15 acres) in the first instance.

"We have to remember that it took four searches over nearly 15 years before we found Brendan Megraw.

"We are just at the beginning of the process for Joe Lynskey.

"But as the recovery of Brendan's remains at the beginning of October shows, where we have accurate information we will find the Disappeared."

Mr Lynskey was one of 17 people abducted, killed and clandestinely buried by republicans.

That list includes Gareth O'Connor who was murdered in 2003. His body was recovered on June 11 2005 at Victoria Quay, Newry Canal, Co Louth.

The Commission has investigated 16 of the Disappeared. To date the remains of 10 people have been recovered.

Mr Knupfer said they were still keen to receive information.

He said: "We cannot over emphasise the importance of information coming to the ICLVR.

"And once again I can give the assurance of a cast iron guarantee of complete anonymity to those who bring information to the Commission."

Anyone with information on any of the Disappeared should contact the ICLVR on 00800 555 85500, by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2 or via the website www.iclvr.ie.

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