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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 22 October, 2014

Exhumed body isn’t that of teenage IRA victim

The family of Columba McVeigh, who disappeared in October 1975, had hoped remains found in a Monaghan graveyard were his.

The remains of a body, thought to have been that of Columba McVeigh, are removed from a graveyard in Scotstown in June. The remains have been shown not to belong to McVeigh.
The remains of a body, thought to have been that of Columba McVeigh, are removed from a graveyard in Scotstown in June. The remains have been shown not to belong to McVeigh.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

A BODY EXHUMED from a Monaghan graveyard, suspected to have been that of a teenage IRA victim, is not that of one of the ‘Disappeared’.

BBC News reports that DNA tests have shown the remains were not those of Columba McVeigh, from Donaghmore in Co Tyrone.

The remains were exhumed from a family plot in a graveyard in Scotstown last June, after a tip-0ff from a local who said there may have been a secret burial there.

McVeigh was abducted by the IRA, and presumably murdered, in October 1975.

UTV quotes a statement from the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains, which said “nothing suspicious… was discovered during the exhumation or subsequent forensic examination.”

The remains are to be re-interred.

Columba’s brother Oliver told BBC Radio Ulster that he was disappointed, though not surprised, that the remains had been shown not to belong to his brother.

“This was information that came from locals in that area so I had known about it for some time and I knew that it had been followed up,” he said, adding that he still hoped the IRA could assist to recover the remains.

The IRA has admitted responsibility for the deaths of nine of the 16 ‘Disappeared’. The Irish National Liberation Army has been linked to a tenth. Only seven of the sixteen bodies have ever been found.

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