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The Disappeared: Latest search for remains of former monk Joe Lynskey ends without success

Joe’s niece Maria said all they wanted was the last of the missing Disappeared victim’s remains to be returned to their families.

Joe Lynskey.
Joe Lynskey.
Image: WAVE Trauma Centre

A SEARCH WHICH began last month for the remains of a former Cistercian monk killed by the IRA during the Troubles has ended without a discovery.

Joe Lynskey, the first of The Disappeared, was abducted, murdered and secretly buried by the IRA in 1972.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) which is tasked with locating the bodies of the remaining ‘Disappeared’, said the search at Oristown, Co Meath had ended “without success”.

During a previous search for Joe Lynskey at Coghalstown in 2015, the remains of Disappeared victims Kevin McKee (aged 17) and Seamus Wright (aged 25) were recovered. The remains of Columba McVeigh and Robert Nairac have yet to be recovered.

Jon Hill, senior investigator with the ICLVR said the search had “not produced the result that we all hoped for”.

“It’s always deeply disappointing when a search is unsuccessful. The information we were working from was given in good faith and warranted further investigation.”

He said the team’s thoughts were with the Lynskey family.

In a statement, Joe’s niece Maria thanked the ICLVR for their work and said that all that they were asking for was that the remains of all Disappeared victims were returned to their families.

Maria had visited the site on the first day of the search and had closely followed the process since then.

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“That’s what we all want. As for me all I can do is to hope and to pray.

Hope that there is someone out there who knows something and pray that they will have it in their heart to help us to bring Joe home for the Christian burial that he has been denied for nearly fifty years.

Hill appealed for fresh information on the case and said any information given would be treated in the “strictest of confidence”.

“All we want to do is to return the remains of their loved one to the family. But to do that we need help from those who have information that can get us to the right place.”

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