NewsNorthern Ireland

Pic: Family of Seamus Wright visit bog where bodies were found

Northern IrelandBy Sunday World
Local priest Father John O'Brien with members of Seamus Wright's family at the site in Coghalstown, Co Meath
Local priest Father John O'Brien with members of Seamus Wright's family at the site in Coghalstown, Co Meath
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
Members of the Wright family visit the site
A member of the Wright family visit the site
A member of the Wright family visit the site

Further work will take 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.

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 was married and 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.

The list of 17 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 ICLVR has investigated 16 of the abductions and murders.

The most recent confirmed discovery was that of Brendan Megraw, whose remains were found in Oristown bog, also in Co Meath, last October.

Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald said she hoped the suffering of families of some of those who were disappeared would be eased with the latest discoveries.

"Our thoughts are with the families of the Disappeared at this emotional time, awaiting final confirmation of the identities of the remains which have been located and hoping that all the remains believed to be at the location will be found," she said.

"We remember all those who still await the return of their loved ones' remains.

"The work of the Victims Remains Commission is complex but it is a humanitarian task aimed at ending the suffering of those families brutalised by the disappearance of their loved ones so many years ago.

"The Commission will continue its work to find the remains of those who have yet to be found."
Ms Fitzgerald added: "Anyone with any information that could help to achieve that aim should make the information available to the commission without delay."