Human remains discovered in drainage ditch on County Meath bog are believed to belong to 23-year-old missing since 1978
Henry McDonaldThe Guardian
10 October 2014
**Please see also Ed Moloney's post: The Disappearance Of Brendan MegrawA body believed to be one of the IRA’s “disappeared” has been found during searches in the Irish Republic.
Specialist teams searching for Brendan Megraw, who has been missing presumed dead since 1978, discovered human remains on the Oristown bog in Co Meath on Wednesday. They were uncovered in a drainage ditch on the bog near the town of Kells.
The Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR) – set up by the British and Irish governments to find the disappeared – confirmed a body was being recovered from the bogland.
“The [Irish] state pathologist will begin the process of a postmortem and formal identification,” a spokesman said.Brendan Megraw, one of the Disappeared
Megraw was one of 17 people kidnapped, killed and buried in secret mainly by the Provisional IRA during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Ten bodies of those victims have so far been recovered.
The 23-year-old west Belfast man vanished from the Twinbrook area in April 1978 just before he was going to be a father. The IRA had accused him of being a state agent who worked for British military intelligence. However, they never revealed the whereabouts of his body after he was shot dead and his family has had to wait almost 40 years to give him a Christian burial.
Forensic archaeologists have been on the Oristown bog for a month searching not only for Megraw’s remains but also those of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright. The IRA also accused McKee and Wright of working as agents for a clandestine British army unit in 1972.
The area around the bog is also the suspected burial ground of Joe Lynskey, a former Irish Cistercian monk whom the IRA also accused of being a British agent in 1972.
The practice of “bogging” victims accused by the IRA of informing or working for the security forces dates back to the early Troubles.Forensic archaeologists examine Oristown bog, near Kells, Co Meath, where a body has been found. (Photograph: Niall Carson/PA)
Jean McConville is the most famous of the disappeared to have been found so far. The mother of 10 was kidnapped, killed and buried in secret in December 1972 after the Belfast IRA claimed she was passing on information from the Divis Flats complex to the army – a charge her children have always denied.
The former Belfast IRA commander Brendan Hughes posthumously claimed in taped testimony, for the US university Boston College, that Gerry Adams gave the order for the widow to be shot dead but buried clandestinely in order to avoid any negative publicity for the republican movement.
Adams has always denied any connection with the murder and disappearance of McConville. The Sinn Féin president has also rejected allegations from Hughes and other IRA veterans that he was second in command of the Provisionals or was ever even a member of the organisation.