Tuesday 25 October 2016

Second body found in field in search for Disappeared

Kevin McKee disappeared in 1972.
Kevin McKee disappeared in 1972.
State pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy at the scene in Coghalstown, Co Meath, in the Irish Republic, where human remains have been found on reclaimed bogland during a search for one of the Disappeared, the land has been examined for several months in the latest attempt to recover the body of Joe Lynskey, a former monk who went missing from west Belfast in August 1972 and was executed and secretly buried by the IRA. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

At least two bodies have been discovered in the Meath field where investigators are searching for 'Disappeared' victims.

The Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains confirmed that during the dig at Coghalstown, Co Meath, more than one body was found in the grave.

It was initially believed that the remains were of Joe Lynskey from west Belfast, who was abducted and murdered by the IRA in August 1972.

However, the discovery of the second body close to the first body meant that investigators believe that the double grave was that of IRA victims Kevin McKee and Seamus Wright.

The two men both went missing in October, 1972, just two months after Lynskey disappeared.


It is expected the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims' Remains will continue to search the area for Mr Lynskey's body.

The recovery process will continue into today.

State Pathologist Dr Marie Cassidy attended the scene last night.

Mr Wright, from Belfast, was murdered by his former IRA colleagues who accused him of being a British Army agent and a member of the Military Reaction Force, an undercover unit.

He was married and 25 years old when he went missing in October, 1972.

Mr McKee, also from Belfast, was murdered in the same year, having faced similar accusations.

Mr Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk from Beechmount, Belfast, was one of 17 abducted, killed and secretly dumped or buried by republicans.

The family of Mr Lynskey visited the site, as it emerged early in the day that remains had been found. They held out hope that their nightmare was finally over, but it was shortlived.

The IRA only admitted his murder almost 40 years later, in 2010.

The discovery, the 11th by the ICLVR, was made near the centre of the six-hectare site that was reclaimed from bogland for a farm in the 1980s and used as pasture since.

Local priest John O'Brien was called to the scene after the discovery.

The ICLVR brought in a sniffer dog late last year as part of efforts to try to detect signs of human remains on the land and teams have been carrying out more detailed surveys and digs since March.

An inquest will take place several months from now.


The list of Disappeared includes Gareth O'Connor, who was murdered in 2003. His body was recovered on June 11, 2005, at Victoria Quay, Newry Canal, Co Louth.

The Commission has investigated 16 abductions and murders.

To date the remains of 10 of the Disappeared have been recovered, the most recent being Brendan Megraw, whose remains were found in Oristown bog, also in Co Meath, last October.

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