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Tuesday 6 December 2016

Digging continues at field in search for Disappeared

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Further work was taking place on a reclaimed bog today where two bodies were discovered on a site where three of the IRA Disappeared are believed to be 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 two bodies next to each other yesterday, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains (ICLVR) said.

Initially the family was notified and niece Maria Lynskey arrived at the field late last night where forensic teams had been excavating based on specific intelligence.

Remains

But with a second body found as preparations were made to take the first set of remains out of the ground, suspicion began to fall on the discovery being that of IRA victims Seamus Wright and Kevin McKee.

The pair were abducted and murdered by the terror group from Belfast in October 1972 and were buried in the same area.

Previous digs have taken place on the farm in Coghalstown for their bodies, including in a field next to where yesterday's discovery was made.

Further work will now take place on-site before DNA tests are used to positively establish identities.

"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 for the ICVLR said.

Joe Lynskey was a former Cistercian monk from Beechmount in west Belfast.

He was abducted and murdered by the IRA in August 1972 but the terror group only admitted to being behind his disappearance in 2010.

Mr Wright, another of the Disappeared believed to be dumped in the bogland, was also from Belfast.

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 the Military Reaction Force.

Mr Wright, who was married, was 25 years old when he went missing in October 1972. He worked as an asphalt layer.

Mr McKee, again from Belfast, and in the IRA, was also murdered in the same year.

He was alleged to have been a British Army agent and member of its Military Reaction Force, an undercover unit. He was interrogated and murdered by the terror group.

Mr 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 Independent Commission for the Location of Victims Remains 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."

This year saw the first dig for Mr Lynskey's remains.

The three Disappeared were among 17 people abducted, killed and clandestinely dumped or buried by republicans.

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