Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Family of Seamus Ruddy ‘cannot rest’ until he is found

The brother of a Newry man who was abducted, killed and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries 31 years ago has said his family cannot rest until he is found.

Speaking as he joined other relatives of the Disappeared as they took part in the tenth annual walk on All Souls Day (November 1st) to highlight the cases of those still to be found, Terry Ruddy said the pain of his brother Seamus’s disappearance “gets harder to bear” with each year that passes.

Mr Ruddy added that his family will never lose hope and said they continue to pray that they will be able to lay Seamus to rest with their mother and father and brother Sean.

“It is where he should be,” he said.

“”We cannot rest until Seamus is brought home.”

Seamus Ruddy, who vanished in France in 1985, is among four Disappeared Troubles victims whose remains have still not been recovered.  Mr Ruddy was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the INLA while working as a teacher in Paris.  It is believed he was buried in a forest at Pont-de-l’Arche outside Rouen in northern France.

Despite his clothes being found six months after his disappearance and the INLA admitting that they had murdered him, a long battle has ensued to try to locate Seamus’s remains.  A breakthrough came in 1999 when his name was added to the official list of the so-called “Disappeared” and the family were provided with a map from the INLA seemingly showing where Seamus was buried.

The following year the first major search was carried out at a forest at Pont-de-L’Arche near Rouen in northern France.  It proved unsuccessful, as did an extensive three day search carried out eight years later.

The Ruddy family, along with relatives of the four remaining Disappeared, staged the tenth annual walk for their loved ones from Carson’s Statue to the steps of Parliament Buildings on Tuesday last, placing a black wreath, with attached white lilies representing those still missing, at the steps of Stormont.

Of the 17 Disappeared victims, some 13 have been recovered by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) – a body set up by the British and Irish governments during the peace process.

Anyone with information should contact the ICLVR’s confidential telephone number on 00800 5558 5500 or write to them on ICLVR, PO BOX, 10827, Dublin 2.