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Dublin: 12°C Wednesday 20 October 2021

Families of remaining Disappeared told: We want to end your torment

Search for Joe Lynskey, who disappeared forty years ago, may happen next.

A search at Oristown bog this year.
A search at Oristown bog this year.
Image: Brian Lawless

THE INDEPENDENT COMMISSION for the Location of Victims Remains (ICLVR) today met with families of the remaining Disappeared.

There are currently six outstanding cases.


The Commission told the families that the recovery of the remains of Brendan Megraw shows that the process in place works. The remaining families gathered at the WAVE Trauma Centre to make an appeal for more information on their loved ones.

Commissioners Sir Ken Bloomfield said results are possible with the practical manifestation of both Governments continued commitment to dealing with the “dreadful part of our past”. He added, that while some will find it difficult, the Republican movement is also committed to finding a resolution.

Quite simply without it we would not have recovered ten of the sixteen Disappeared but we need more information on the outstanding cases to end the torment of those families.

Commissioner Frank Murray said the Commission is now starting preliminary work “at a very early stage I must emphasise” in relation to Joe Lynskey.

He said it was just over a year ago he was with some of the families present today at Oristown Bog at a ceremony at which Bishop Michael Smith lead prayers for the Disappeared and appealed for information.

“We were so close to where Brendan was found.”

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Murray said that the Commission is “information led” and does not carry out speculative searches.

Bloomfield emphasised that any information given to the ICLVR is held in strict confidence and can be used only for the purposes of the location and recovery of the remains of the Disappeared and will not be shared with any other state agency.

I fully understand and share the frustration of the families who are still waiting. While progress can be painfully slowly at times we have a team of dedicated investigators and geophysicists and forensic archaeologists led by Geoff Knupfer and Jon Hill who are world leaders in this work.

“But as the recovery of Brendan shows original information that did not produce a positive result is not necessarily wrong: it needs to be refined. And that is why it is important to join the families to appeal for more information on the six outstanding cases,” said Murray.

The Troubles and the Disappeared: ‘Another chapter closed in the tragic saga’>

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

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