Ruddy family appeal for “peace” for families of the Disappeared

November 11, 2013

By Christine Keighery

The family of Newry man, Seamus Ruddy, one of the Disappeared have renewed their appeal for information which could lead to their brother’s recovery.

Thirty two year old Mr Ruddy 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 buried in a forest in Normandy, but they found nothing.

The Ruddy family’s appeal for information comes following Darragh MacIntyre’s chilling new documentary which told the hidden story of at least 15 people who were murdered and buried in secret graves by the IRA during the Troubles.

The programme revealed previously untold stories of many of the relatives left to grieve for decades, including the widow of Crossmaglen man, Charlie Armstrong who went missing in 1981 on his way to Mass.  Kathleen Armstrong gave a poignant interview of the family’s turmoil after her husband’s disappearance and their feelings following the recovery of his body in 2010.

Harrowingly, his daughter said that when her father’s body was discovered “half his head was missing, his hands and feet were tied at the front which meant that he was tied and killed and then dropped off.”

The documentary also featured former member of the IRA in south Armagh, Martin McAllister, who told MacIntyre that the murders of Charlie Armstrong and another local man, Gerard Evans, were carried out by the local IRA without the authorisation of the IRA leadership at the time.  Commenting on Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams’ continued denial of any knowledge of the murders of the Disappeared, McAllister also added that Mr Adams “chooses to come up with that answer as opposed to facing the reality that he himself has been told lies by them here locally and perhaps he wants to believe it.”

On the back of the broadcast of the documentary, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) has also renewed its appeals for people to come forward with information on the remaining Disappeared.

Seamus Ruddy’s sister Anne Morgan told The Examiner,

“We only ask that we should be able to give Seamus a christian burial in the grave with his parents Molly and John. Before our mother died she put Seamus’ name on the headstone “so as no-one will forget him.”

“The documentary highlighted the plight of all the families of the disappeared. It is crucial that a big effort should be made now to get more accurate information. Peace has come to the North of Ireland but not to the families of the Disappeared.”