Brother of Brendan Megraw in fresh appeal for body’s location

‘Disappeared’ victim vanished in April 1978 and is thought buried near Kells, Co Meath

Kieran Megraw, brother of Brendan Megraw  from West Belfast, has made a fresh appeal for the whereabouts of his brother’s body. He vanished in April 1978 and is thought to have been secretly buried at a spot near Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Kieran Megraw, brother of Brendan Megraw from West Belfast, has made a fresh appeal for the whereabouts of his brother’s body. He vanished in April 1978 and is thought to have been secretly buried at a spot near Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Sat, Nov 2, 2013, 16:11

The brother of a man kidnapped and killed by the IRA 35 years ago has made a fresh appeal for information about the location of his body.

Newlywed Brendan Megraw (then 23), from West Belfast, was among 17 people abducted, murdered and secretly buried by republicans between 1972 and 2003.

As the families and friends of the so-called Disappeared gathered for an annual All Souls Day Silent Walk to remember their loved ones, his brother Kieran said he spends every day wondering where his body might be.

“You’re always thinking, ‘Where is he, what if?’” Mr Megraw said.

“When you hear on the news about police discovering remains - things like that crop up and you think, ‘Is it him? What if it’s him?’

“There are families who have not been able to say a proper goodbye to their loved ones. We need information about where we can find their bodies.

“We are so grateful of all the support we do receive, but we would urge anyone who knows anything to come forward.”

The bodies of seven of the Disappeared have yet to be found - Mr Megraw is one of them.

He vanished in April 1978 and is thought to have been secretly buried at a spot near Kells, Co Meath.

About 20 people attended the seventh annual silent walk in the grounds of Stormont in memory of Mr Megraw and the six others.

The group met at the Edward Carson statue where Fr Gerry Reynolds from Clonard Monastery led prayers, before walking to the steps of Parliament Buildings where a black wreath with white lilies was laid to symbolise those still missing.

“It’s been a day of reflection and a time to remember,” Mr Megraw said.

“But we have not lost sight of the fact there are still bodies to be found.”

He said his brother, who was motorbike mad, was building a good life for himself when he was abducted.

“He was just married and expecting a new baby,” Mr Megraw said.

“He was just about to start a new job the next day. Everything was going well for him.”

The group of family and friends - who have been brought together by the Wave Trauma Centre, a charity that supports those bereaved or injured during the conflict - was to travel to Oristown, Co Meath, today.

Bishop of Meath Dr Michael Smith was to celebrate a special Mass in memory of the Disappeared at Kilberry Chapel at 7pm.

In September, the bishop led prayers at two sites in Meath where it is thought up to four bodies may be buried - including that of Mr Megraw.

The IRA claimed Mr Megraw confessed to being a British provocateur and Military Reaction Force undercover agent in 1978.

Others missing include Joe Lynskey, a former Cistercian monk from West Belfast, Captain Robert Nairac of the SAS, and 19-year-old Columba McVeigh from Dungannon, Co Tyrone.

In 1999, the British and Irish governments jointly established the Independent Commission for the Location of Victims’ Remains (ICLVR). Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams led appeals for information in finding the bodies.

The ICLVR, which co-ordinates searches using the latest forensic techniques, confirmed last month that a hunt for Mr McVeigh in Co Monaghan had been called off.

It was the sixth time a dig had been carried out for the remains of Mr McVeigh, who vanished in November 1975.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the commission, which treats information as confidential.

Meanwhile, an exhibition telling the families’ stories of the Disappeared is on display at the City Hall in Belfast.

It is hoped the exhibition, which runs until November 9th, may lead to fresh information.

Press Association