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14th-Sep-2015 01:10 pm - Funeral of Disappeared victim Kevin McKee ends '43 years of pain' for family
Belfast Telegraph
14 Sept 2015


Relatives of one of the "Disappeared", victims of Northern Ireland's Troubles, have given him a Christian burial more than 40 years after his murder.

Kevin McKee's remains lay in bog land in the Irish Republic for almost 43 years before they were found earlier this year along with another man the IRA shot and secretly buried during the conflict.

IRA men Mr McKee, 17, and Seamus Wright, 25, both vanished in Belfast in October 1972.

The IRA shot them on the suspicion they were working as British agents.

Fr Michael Murtagh, former Rector of Clonard Monastery, told mourners who had packed into St Peter's Cathedral in West Belfast: "We are here to give Kevin McKee a Christian burial. This is happening 43 years late but it is still important that we do it.

"It is important for Kevin and for his family that they are given the chance to grieve publicly and acknowledge the awful tragedy his murder and secret burial was."

Funerals for both men - Mr Wright's will take place on Tuesday - were arranged after a summer-long wait for confirmation of DNA tests.

Their bodies were recovered from the same shallow grave on reclaimed bog land in Coghalstown, Co Meath, in June during a dig to find a third man killed and "Disappeared" by the IRA.

Mr McKee's disappearance took its toll on each family member, the priest said.

"We remind ourselves how this affected each of his family members, those living and those dead, especially his late mother Mary.

"We acknowledge 43 years of pain, of wondering, of uncertainty and not knowing what had happened.

"We acknowledge that at times there were very few to turn to and it was a lonely road for them to travel."

The hunt for the Disappeared has been overseen by the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) - an independent body set up during the peace process to find 16 victims secretly buried by republicans.

The ICLVR was on site for several months this year searching for the remains of former Cistercian monk Joe Lynskey when the two other bodies were found.

It is also only a few miles from where the body of Brendan Megraw was discovered last year following searches at Oristown, Co Meath.

The searches for Mr Lynskey have to date been unsuccessful.

Fr Murtagh commended the process set up to locate the Disappeared.

He said: "It is part of our sometimes faltering peace process that is working."

Mr McKee will lie beside his mother at Blaris cemetery in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

26th-Jun-2015 05:12 am - Bodies found during search for 'Disappeared' victim Joe Lynskey
Suspected remains of former monk and one other unearthed on land that was believed to be secret burial place of IRA victims who went missing in 1972

Press Association
The Guardian
25 June 2015

**Please see also this article by Ed Moloney at The Broken Elbow for further insight: Have The Remains Of Seamus Wright And Kevin McKee Been Found In Co. Meath Bog?




The scene in Coghalstown where human remains have been found on reclaimed bogland. (Photograph: Niall Carson/PA)

The remains of two bodies have been found on reclaimed bogland in the Irish Republic where three of the so-called IRA Disappeared are believed to have been secretly buried.

A dig on the farmland in Coghalstown, Co Meath, as part of the search for the remains of former monk Joe Lynskey unearthed one body on Thursday morning, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) said.

A second body was discovered as further examinations took place at the site and preparations were made to take the first body out the ground.

IRA victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee are believed to be buried in the same area, the ICLVR said.

“We have always said that we think three bodies are in that area and until there is further identification we just don’t know,” a spokesman said.

It is understood the second set of human remains was unearthed as specialists cleared ground around the first body to prepare it for removal.

Lynskey’s family, who have endured a 43-year wait to give their loved one a proper burial, were notified of the initial discovery and were said to be shocked but relieved at the discovery.

The former Cistercian monk was abducted and murdered by the IRA in August 1972. The group only admitted his disappearance in 2010. Wright, another of the Disappeared believed to be dumped in the bogland, was also from Belfast.

Joe Lynskey, a former monk who was executed and secretly buried by the IRA. (Photograph: Wave Trauma Centre/PA)

He was in the IRA and was murdered in the same year by his former colleagues, who accused him of being a British army agent and a member of its Military Reaction Force – an undercover unit.

Wright was married and 25 years old when he went missing in October 1972. He worked as an asphalt layer. McKee, again from Belfast, and in the IRA, he was also murdered in the same year.

He was also suspected of being in the British army agent and the Military Reaction Force. He was interrogated and murdered by the terror group.

Lynskey’s niece, Maria, had been expected to visit the site after the discovery and said her thoughts were with other families awaiting news.

“We would like to thank the [ICLVR] and those who have engaged with the commission in the search for Joe,” she said.

“Our thoughts are with the other families whose loved ones remain disappeared.”

Extensive searches have been carried out at the site for both Wright and McKee, but this year was the first dig for Lynskey’s remains.

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