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14th-Nov-2014 04:38 pm - Funeral held for IRA ‘disappeared’ man
Family of Brendan Megraw, who was kidnapped, killed and secretly buried in 1978, appeal for help to find others still missing, presumed dead

Henry McDonald
The Guardian
14 November 2014

Brendan Megraw's brothers carry his coffin at his funeral in Belfast. He had been abducted at gunpoint from his home shortly after marrying his pregnant girlfriend. (Photograph: Charles Mcquillan/Getty Images)

The family of one of the IRA’s “disappeared” who was finally buried on Friday, 36 years after he vanished in Belfast, have appealed to republicans to help find those victims still missing and presumed dead.

The call was made at the funeral of Brendan Megraw in west Belfast, who was kidnapped, killed and buried in secret by the IRA in 1978.

A priest told mourners that Megraw’s mother, who died in 2002, had prayed for the day when her son would have a Christian burial.

Father Aidan Brankin said Megraw’s family and friends were still praying that those still missing “too will soon be found”.

Brendan Megraw was abducted at gunpoint from his home shortly after he had married his pregnant girlfriend.

Earlier this month, the organisation tasked with finding the “disappeared” confirmed that remains discovered by specialist forensic experts in a Co Meath were those of Megraw.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains is currently searching for another missing man, the former Belfast monk Joe Lynskey, who they believe was buried in the same Oristown bog as Megraw.

During his homily at the requiem mass in St Oliver Plunkett church in West Belfast, Brankin said Brigid Megraw “prayed for this day, when Brendan was found and he could have a funeral and be buried in the family grave”.

He added: “Unfortunately, she didn’t get to see that prayer answered, but it is answered today. She wasn’t just praying for Brendan. She prayed for all those who had been taken.

“She shared in the joy of other families of the disappeared when their loved ones were found. She shared their disappointments when a search proved unsuccessful.”

Six of the “disappeared” are still missing – five of them killed and secretly buried by the IRA. They include SAS captain Robert Nairac who was abducted, killed and buried in secret in South Armagh.

The sixth, the only non-IRA victim, was Seamus Ruddy, an Irish National Liberation Army member who was murdered in Paris and then secretly buried somewhere in the French capital. Ruddy was killed as part of an internal INLA feud by a rival faction that kidnapped and tortured him in order to find out the whereabouts of arms and explosives in France destined for another rival grouping in the fractious republican socialist movement.
3rd-Nov-2014 06:36 pm - The Disappeared: Meath remains were those of Brendan Megraw
3 November 2014

Brendan McGraw Brendan McGraw was abducted and murdered by the IRA in 1978

Human remains found in County Meath at the start of last month were those of IRA murder victim Brendan Megraw, it has been confirmed.

Mr Megraw was one of the 16 murder victims who became known as the Disappeared.

His remains were found in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog, near Kells, by contractors called in to prepare the site for forensic excavations.

DNA tests have positively identified the remains as those of Mr Megraw.

The coroner for the city of Dublin has accepted this as evidence of identification and will shortly authorise the release of the remains to the family.

Mr Megraw was 23 when he was abducted from Twinbrook in Belfast in 1978, and murdered by the IRA.

He had recently been married and was awaiting the birth of his daughter.

His kidnappers had drugged his wife Marie in their home as they waited for his return, and as they took him away they warned her not to worry or contact police.

The Megraw family were only told by the IRA in 1999 that he was one of the Disappeared and his body had been dumped on the bogland near the town of Kells in County Meath.

Three previous searches for Mr Megraw, the most recent in 2010, had been unsuccessful.

The remains were discovered in a drainage ditch on Oristown bog, near Kells, County Meath

The Disappeared were abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republican paramilitaries during the Troubles.

Separate searches have also taken place on bogland a few miles away from where Mr Megraw was buried in County Meath for the remains of Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright, both of whom were abducted by the IRA in October 1972.

It is also suspected Joseph Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk taken from the Beechmount area of west Belfast in the summer of 1972, was also buried somewhere in the region.
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12th-Oct-2014 02:23 pm - Irish police find body in search for ‘disappeared’ Brendan Megraw
Human remains discovered in drainage ditch on County Meath bog are believed to belong to 23-year-old missing since 1978

Henry McDonald
The Guardian
10 October 2014

**Please see also Ed Moloney's post: The Disappearance Of Brendan Megraw

A 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.

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