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Dublin: 6 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Families of suspected bodies in Meath hope for "an end to the torment"

It’s “more likely than not” that the bodies are of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee. Joe Lynskey is also believed to be buried nearby.

The farmland in Co. Meath that is believed to be a former bogland.
The farmland in Co. Meath that is believed to be a former bogland.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Updated 19.35

IT WILL TAKE ‘some weeks’ to identify the remains of two bodies found at a site in Co Meath where investigators were searching for a man ‘disappeared’ by the Provisional IRA.

A team of forensic investigators have been searching an area in Coghalstown since March for the remains of Joe Lynskey, but it now seems “more likely than not” that they have found the remains of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee.

The families of the two men have this evening issued a statement saying that they, “can at last see an end to the torment that has lasted over forty years and bring Seamus and Kevin home.”

Both men were also abducted and killed by the IRA in 1972 and the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICVLR) have been searching for them.

In their statement, the families go on to say:

We want to thank the ICVLR and whoever provided information to the ICLVR. Without that information this would never have happened. While this will change the lives of our families our thoughts are with the Lynskey family and all those who still wait for the news that their loved ones have been found.

In a statement this afternoon, Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, said, “I thank everyone who has helped in the search of the remains of those who were killed and secretly buried by the IRA. Republicans have co-operated fully with the Commission and we now need to continue to do our utmost to bring closure for the remaining families.”

Today’s discovery is an important step toward the recovery of all of those killed and secretly buried.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, the ICVLR’s lead forensic scientist and investigator Geoff Knupfer says the team knew there were three bodies buried in the area:

Now we’ve been aware that there are three burials in the Coghastown area, those of Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee and also Joe Lynskey. But we can’t say at this stage who it is that we’ve found of course.

Knupfer says the information they have been given by republicans is that Wright and McKee were buried together.

“Yes they were, they ‘disappeared’ in 1972 and we have always been told that they were buried together…I think it’s more likely than not that it’s Wright and McKee, yes.”

Search for the Disappeared. The scene i A member of the Lynskey family arriving at the scene. Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Knupfer says that, if the remains are found to be Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee, the team will continue to search the area for Joe Lynskey. His niece Maria Lynskey was on site yesterday as the two bodies were found.

Today, teams will continue the “systematic and very very careful recovery” of the remains. They will continue throughout the day until they are removed to the mortuary in Dublin.

It will takes “some weeks” for the remains to be identified, explains Knupfer.

“It’s going to be certainly some weeks, several weeks, because the DNA analysis forty odd years after the event is quite a task. It’s quite a stretching process, quite a high-tech process and it will take some time.”

- Originally published 08.35 am

Additional reporting by Michael Sheils Mcnamee 

Read: “More than one body” found in Co Meath search for ‘Disappeared’ Joe Lynskey >

Read: Two men arrested over Jean McConville abduction and murder are let go >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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