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Victims' remains group not on brink of closure - Oireachtas committee

Current indications are that the commission working to locate bodies of the Disappeared will continue its investigations.

ICLVR members mount a search in Carrickrobin, Co Louth in 2009
ICLVR members mount a search in Carrickrobin, Co Louth in 2009
Image: Julien Behal/PA Archive/Press Association Images

SUGGESTIONS THAT THE group tasked with finding the bodies of ‘disappeared’ IRA victims could be closed down have been played down by Labour TD Joanna Tuffy.

Tuffy, who chairs the Oireachtas committee on the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, said current indications were that the effort to locate and identify the remains of the Disappeared would continue.

Nine of the 16 people killed and secretly buried by paramilitaries in the North have been found to date, seven of those by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains, which briefed the Oireachtas committee yesterday.

The commission indicated yesterday that it currently has no leads to make further investigations, but is hoping that more information will come to light, Tuffy said. The group also issued a fresh appeal for anyone with information to come forward.

“They have periods of time when there might be a lull,” Tuffy said. “But then information can come along which can be very helpful and make a big difference.” Members of the commission had stressed that there were no plans to cease their work, she added.

The Irish News reports today that the commission will disband “within weeks” unless new information is found on the remaining victims.

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It’s now hoped that as the most violent episodes of the Troubles recede, people with former connections to paramilitary activities may feel more able to come forward and help with the search for victims’ remains.

All information given to the ICLVR is entirely confidential, and cannot be used in criminal proceedings.

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Michael Freeman

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