Fresh appeal for information as Disappeared remembered in Meath ceremony

September 23, 2013

Seventeen people murdered and secretly buried by republicans during the Troubles were remembered in a poignant ceremony in County Meath last Saturday.

More than 100 people gathered in the Irish Republic for the ceremony at a spot near Kells, Co Meath, where one of the victims, 23 year old Belfast man, Brendan Megraw, is thought to have been secretly buried after disappearing in 1978.

Leading the prayers for the Disappeared at Oristown, Kells, Dr Michael Smith, the Bishop of Meath launched a fresh appeal to help find the bodies of the seven people still missing.

The Bishop said the victims endured “horror and barbarity”.

“Many act foolishly along life’s journey, especially when young and immature,” Dr Smith said.

“One would hope that the maturity of years and an appreciation of the deep-seated pain still blighting the lives of the families, as well as being true to one’s conscience, would encourage anyone with even the slightest piece of information to come forward.”

The event was organised by the WAVE Trauma Centre to remember those victims whose bodies were recovered and those still missing.

To date the remains of 10 bodies have been recovered.

Fourteen years ago the British and Irish governments jointly established the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR), who are responsible for co-ordinating the searches for the remaining seven bodies using the latest forensic techniques.

The remains of Crossmaglen man Charles Armstrong are among those recovered in recent years.  The 57-year-old father-of-five went missing on his way to Mass in 1981. His car was later found near a cinema in Dundalk. The IRA denied any involvement in his disappearance at the time.

Human remains found during a search in County Monaghan in July 2010 were confirmed two months later as being those of Mr Armstrong.

Newry man Seamus Ruddy is one of the Disappeared whose remains are still missing.  The 32-year-old was working as a teacher in Paris when he went missing in 1985. It is believed he was killed by members of the INLA.

Fresh searches were carried out in 2008 after his family were told his remains were in a forest in Normandy, but they found nothing.  Mr Ruddy’s family continue to actively campaign for the return of their brother’s body to his loved ones.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the ICLVR, which treats information as confidential.