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The Disappeared: Search to take place in France for man murdered by the INLA

The search for the remains of Seamus Ruddy will take place in a forest outside Rouen, northern France.

THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) has confirmed that it will resume the search for the remains of Seamus Ruddy, who was murdered by the INLA over 30 years ago.

Newry-born teacher Seamus Ruddy was abducted from Paris in 1985 and is counted among The Disappeared, a group of people believed to have been killed and buried secretly during the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

In addition to Ruddy, the remains of Columba McVeigh, Joe Lynskey and Robert Nairac have yet to be recovered.

The search will focus in a forest at Pont-de-l’Arche outside Rouen in northern France, an area previously searched by the ICLVR in 2008.

The ICLVR recovered the bodies of victims Brendan Megraw, in 2014, and Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright in 2015.

Geoff Knupfer, who leads the team that found that trio, said that the information they are working from in the search for Ruddy is “as accurate as it can be given the passage of time”. He said:

I am convinced that there is a genuine desire on the part of those supplying the information to get this resolved by finding where Seamus is buried.

download (2) Seamus Ruddy Source: Wave Trauma Centre

He said that in the cases where the other men were found, their bodies had been exactly where the ICLVR had been told they’d be.

“It is always a question of narrowing that down to a precise location,” Knupfer said. “I really hope that we can do this again and find him.”

While previous search sites had been huge, the area they will search for Ruddy in is only the size of half a football pitch.

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The brother and sister of Ruddy appeared on an episode of RTÉ’s Nationwide in 2015, where they expressed their wish to be able to give Seamus a proper burial.

Terry Ruddy said: “There’s no point in trying to pursue somebody for something that happened thirty years ago. There’s no point in the information being withheld.

Somebody knows where his remains are. Surely after thirty years if we can forgive the deed the remains could be given back to us. All we want to do is get the remains and give the remains a Christian burial.

The joint UK and Irish commissioners of the ICLVR, Sir Ken Bloomfield and Frank Murray, expressed their hopes that the search would be successful and appealed for anyone with information about the other missing people to come forward.

They said: “We are mindful, however, that as we start this search there are three other families who still await the word that we can move forward on their cases.

At the Palm Sunday Mass, Archbishop [of Armagh] Eamon Martin made a powerful plea to those who hold information but have yet to come forward to do so. We echo that appeal today.

They added: “Anyone with information on the Disappeared can contact the ICLVR in complete confidence on 00800 555 85500,  by writing to ICLVR, PO Box 10827, Dublin 2. or via the website www.iclvr.ie.

Read: Murdered by the IRA, the body of this British Army Captain has been missing for 40 years

Read: “No grave to tend, no place to grieve”: The four remaining ‘Disappeared’

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Sean Murray

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