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17th-Sep-2015 04:54 am - Mourners attend funeral of ‘disappeared’ IRA victim Séamus Wright
Wright is believed to have been abducted, interrogated, shot dead and buried in secret by the IRA in 1972

Henry McDonald
The Guardian
15 Set 2015



Friends and family carry the remains of one Séamus Wright. (Photograph: Cathal Mcnaughton/Reuters)

The tragedy of Northern Ireland’s “disappeared” was all the more painful because so many of these victims were young, a priest has told mourners at the funeral of an IRA victim missing presumed dead for more than four decades.

After 43 years ex-IRA member Séamus Wright was finally laid to rest in his native Belfast on Tuesday.

He vanished in 1972 alongside Kevin McKee after the IRA suspected the pair of working as undercover agents for a secret army unity known as the Military Reconnaissance Force, which was carrying out a covert war against the IRA in Belfast during the Troubles’ bloodiest year.

They are believed to have been abducted from their homes in west Belfast, driven across the border, interrogated, shot dead and buried in secret.

DNA tests confirmed that remains found this summer at a bog in County Meath in the Irish Republic were those of Wright and McKee, whose funeral took place in Belfast on Monday.

At a requiem mass for Wright at St Agnes’s parish church in the Andersonstown area of west Belfast on Tuesday, mourners heard that Wright was a “deeply committed” family man with a “strong religious dimension” to his life.

The parish priest said: “He died a young man – just 25 years of age – and the death of a young person seems to hit us harder.” In his homily during mass Father Brendan Callanan added: “It has taken a long time for us to come to this point but we are here.”

Digging is continuing at the site where their remains were found. The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains believes the remains of another victim, the former monk turned IRA activist Joe Lynskey, are also in Coghalstown bog.

The most notorious case of the disappeared was that of Jean McConville, a widow and mother of 10 who was kidnapped, taken in a car from west Belfast across the border to the republic, shot dead and buried at a beach in Co Louth.

The former Belfast IRA commander and hunger striker Brendan Hughes claimed the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, had given the order for McConville to be killed and buried in secret to avoid political embarrassment for the republican movement. Adams has always denied any connection to the McConville murder or even being in the IRA.

Four people remain on the disappeared list, three of them believed to have been kidnapped and killed by the IRA. The missing presumed dead include SAS Captain Robert Nairac, who vanished while on a covert mission in South Armagh.

The other person on the list is Séamus Ruddy, a County Down schoolteacher and member of the Irish Republican Socialist party. He was abducted, tortured and killed by a faction of the Irish National Liberation Army in Paris in the 1980s. Despite searches in the French capital and in a forest in Normandy, Ruddy’s remains have never been found.

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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