Information on the Disappeared

Date: 10/1/2008
In 1999 the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) was set up to receive information in relation to the location of the remains of those colloquially known as “the disappeared” so that they might be returned to their families for Christian burial. In recent days, they have made a fresh appeal for information. The Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains said there will be no further excavations of sites unless there is a good prospect of success.

The ‘disappeared’ are those people who had been killed by paramilitary organisations and buried in secret. There were fourteen in all. To date only five of these remains have been recovered (see below). The nine people whose remains have yet to be found are –

Seamus Wright (Belfast) – Disappeared, October 1972
Kevin McKee (Belfast) – Disappeared, October 1972
Columba McVeigh (Donaghmore) – Disappeared, October 1975
Robert Nairac (England) – Disappeared, May 1977
Brendan Megraw (Belfast) – Disappeared, April 1978
Gerard Evans (Crossmaglen) – Disappeared, March 1979
Danny McIllhone (Belfast) – Disappeared, July 1981
Charlie Armstrong (Crossmaglen) – Disappeared, August 1981
Seamus Ruddy (Newry) – Disappeared, May 1985

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains is now appealing for anyone with any information in relation to these cases to contact it. Any information given to the commission will be treated as strictly confidential and may only be used to locate and identify the remains.

The commission emphasises that its work is strictly non-political. Their sole purpose is to return the victims’ remains to their families so that they can give them the Christian burial they have so far been denied.

To do this the commission has established good working relationships with interlocutors from the INLA and the provisional IRA. Both organisations have given their support to this campaign to locate the remains and have provided much information to date on most of the cases. In spite of this, the commission has had only limited success.

Experience shows that, in spite of having extensive information, some crucial missing information can lead to large errors in the focus of the searches. This is why it is important to get as much information as possible from as many sources as possible.

While the commission is particularly anxious to get information in relation to those cases where it has received no information up to this, it would also like to hear about those cases where it has already received information.

It has been reported that recently the Commission carried out unsuccessful searches in France and Monaghan.

Today the commission said it is doing everything it can to find the bodies and bring an end to the suffering of the victims’ families.

It has brought in a range of experts but says it still needs more help from those with information.

Unless the situation changes it is likely that the commission’s current programme of work will be completed before the end of next year – leading to the end of the search for the ‘disappeared’.

With this in mind the commission appeal is to anyone who has any information on any of the cases to contact them now using the confidential telephone line or Post Office box.

Telephone: 00800 – 555 855 00
or write to ICLVR, PO BOX 10827, Dublin 2