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'We just want to bury him with Mum and Dad'

A Bishop has called for information on Columba McVeigh at a mass in Monaghan.

IN THE NAME of humanity and of this community I would entreat anyone with any information to search their conscience and help bring an end to this suffering.

The Bishop of Clogher called on those who have information on where the body of one of the so-called Disappeared, Columba McVeigh, is located to come forward.

McVeigh was 17 when he was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1975.

columbamcveighlarge Source: The Disappeared of Northern Ireland

It’s believed that he was secretly buried nearly 40 years ago at Bragan Bog in Emyvale, Co Monaghan.

Four searches have been carried out at the bog since 1999 but the remains of Columba have yet to be found. The most recent search was in September 2013.

Digging for the remains of Columba McVeigh A search for Columba McVeigh at Emyvale in 2003. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Bishop Liam McDaid asked anybody with information to “search their conscience” and help end the suffering of the McVeigh family.

For almost four decades the McVeigh family have had to bear the pain of the loss of Columba. A pain deepened almost beyond imagination by the fact that they have no grave to tend, no place to grieve.

Columba’s brother Oliver said, “We know there are people who have information who haven’t come forward yet.

How can anyone with a shred of humanity about them leave us like this after 40 years knowing that they could end our suffering?

McVeigh’s mother Vera died eight years ago before her son’s body could be found.

The Rev Ian Paisley meets abducted and murdered teenager's mother The Rev Ian Paisley speaks with Vera McVeigh, mother of murdered teenager Columba McVeigh, in Dungannon Co Tyrone. November 30, 2006. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Columba’s sister Dympna Kerr told BBC Northern Ireland, “Justice will be when we get his body back and put it in the grave beside my Mum and Dad. That’s the only justice we need.”

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) had a total of 16 people on its list of the Disappeared. Ten of them have been located with six people yet to be recovered.

Oliver added that, “The ICLVR needs more information to narrow down the search area to find Columba just as they were able to do at Oristown and find Brendan Megraw.”

Brendan Megraw search Oliver McVeigh attending the funeral mass of Disappeared victim Brendan Megraw at St Oliver Plunkett Church in Belfast, November 2014. Source: PA Wire/Press Association Images

Frank Murray is the Commissioner of the ICLVR. He said:

“I want to emphasise that we have no other goal than to locate the victims – we operate in complete confidence, guaranteed by law, and entirely separate from the criminal justice system. Our work is humanitarian and the victims’ families are at the centre of what we do.”

Read: The Disappeared: Body found in Meath bog confirmed as that of Brendan Megraw>

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