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Disappeared families welcome actors’ appeal

July 8, 2013

The sister of Seamus Ruddy, the Newry man who is one of the remaining 7 Disappeared, has welcomed the recent support of actors Liam Neeson and James Nesbitt for their campaign to recover the remains of their loved ones to their families.

The Northern Ireland actors recently backed an appeal by the families of the disappeared for information that could lead to the recovery of the victims still not found.

Seventeen people who were murdered and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles have become known as the Disappeared. Since searches began, the bodies of 10 of the Disappeared have been recovered, with a further seven people still not found.

The Commission for the Location of Victims Remains was set up after the 1998 Good Friday agreement to get confidential information that might lead to the location of the victims.

Nesbitt and Leeson released a statement publicly declaring their support for the campaign to coincide with the launch of a new book, The Disappeared Of Northern Ireland’s Troubles, that collates the personal stories of 14 of the families.

Seamus Ruddy’s sister, Anne Morgan told The Examiner that the backing of both actors was “really encouraging.”

“We met Liam Neeson in February in Ballymena whenever he got the freedom of that town,” said Anne,

“The families of the Disappeared were with him for about 20 minutes. He reassured us that he would help us in any way he could to put us out of our pain especially those families still waiting for news of our loved ones.

“In our case it has been 28 years. My brother Seamus Ruddy is still disappeared, having been disappeared by the INLA in Paris, France in 1985.

Anne conveyed some sense of the harrowing ordeal her family have endured waiting for news of their brother’s remains,

“He is still our brother who was unable to share in all the joy of our lives. His three brothers and five sisters are still waiting and hoping that he will be returned to us and we will be able to give him a Christian burial, to bury him with his mother and father in Newry.”

She revealed that Seamus’s name had been added to the family headstone in 1995 at the request of her mother, six months before she passed away.

“We hope that through the launch of the book, people will be able to read the stories of all the Disappeared and see how we were all just ordinary people getting on with our lives whenever this awful story began. Our pain is ever present and until we bury our loved ones, we will never find peace.

“If anyone has information please come forward and put us out of our agony.”

Anyone with information can contact the confidential telephone number: 0800 55585500 or send your information to ICLVR at PO Box 10827, Dublin 2, Ireland.  Alternatively you can visit the website on www.iclvr.ie.

All information is strictly confidential.

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