Body of 'disappeared' identified

Thu, Sep 16, 2010, 01:00

REMAINS FOUND in a Co Monaghan bog in July were those of Charlie Armstrong, one of the “disappeared”, the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains has confirmed.

Mr Armstrong (57), from Crossmaglen in south Armagh, went missing on his way to Mass in August 1981 and is believed to have been murdered by the IRA.

His family suspect he was killed after he resisted attempts by the IRA to hijack his car. There was also local speculation that he was murdered after discovering something that could have compromised the IRA in south Armagh.

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams, Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern and other politicians offered sympathy to the Armstrong family. Mr Armstrong’s remains were released to his family yesterday. His funeral will take place on Saturday.

His body was discovered in the townland of Aughrim More, on the Co Monaghan side of Cullaville, close to the Border, after a map was anonymously sent to the commission. Mr Armstrong’s body was found close to where the bodies of IRA victims Brian McKinney and John McClory were discovered in 1999. The commission has now recovered the remains of seven of the disappeared. The remains of nine more people are yet to be recovered, most of whom were killed by the IRA, including British soldier Captain Robert Nairac who went missing in 1977.

Mr Adams said: “I have always been impressed by the courage and resolve of the Armstrong family. My thought and prayers are with them as they prepare to bury a husband and father.”

Mr Ahern said the trauma the Armstrong family endured over the past 29 years “cannot be truly understood by me or by anyone who has not experienced the disappearance of a loved one”.